Academy plan ‘a huge political gamble’

The BBC, in its analysis, notes that in pressing ahead with plans for all state schools in England to become academies George Osborne is “taking a huge political gamble”.

Large-scale change of public services is high-risk because so many people engage with them.

There will be angry opposition from boroughs – some of them Tory-led – where schools are good.

Already they’re asking: where is the evidence that becoming an academy… is a one-way ticket to better schools? Some flourish and excel, but others have failed…

The case in favour is that it puts power to make decisions in the hands of head teachers – or rather the chief executives who now run chains of publicly-funded schools across England.

There is more leeway for innovation, but for the moment that’s been modest. Most still broadly follow the national curriculum…

The wriggle room for risk-taking and innovation is limited when head teachers are also looking over their shoulders at league tables and the next Ofsted inspection.

None of this means interesting variety and innovation won’t happen in the long term. There will be more schools that educate children from the age of 5 to 18 for example. That could increase the incentive at every stage to focus on children at every level of ability, rather than those who can be most easily helped over the hurdle of getting five good GCSEs.

Osborne’s plans will face some practical hurdles too. Where are the queues of sponsors who want to set up new multi-academy trusts in England?…

A solution of some kind will also have to be found for schools that have expensive private finance initiative (PFI) payments…Unless some way of managing that cost is found, there could be some schools that no one wants to take on….

Multi-academy trusts will also have to keep on demonstrating that they are open to scrutiny…

So will the gamble pay off? There is quite honestly no way of knowing, certainly not by the time of the next election.

But these changes do mark a fundamental shift in the way publicly funded education is run and held to account in England… 

More at Academy plan ‘a huge political gamble’

 

Anything you would add to or challenge in this BBC overview of the implications of turning all schools into academies that has been announced by George Osborne?

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Categories: Academies, Local authorities and Policy.

Comments

  1. Dai_James1942

    SchoolsImprove The plan is a delaying tactic. It will take several years to show that it has made no difference.

  2. Dai_James1942

    SchoolsImprove The plan is a delaying tactic. It will take several years to show that it has made no difference.

  3. Dai_James1942

    SchoolsImprove The plan is a delaying tactic. It will take several years to show that it has made no difference.

  4. TW

    “Multi-academy trusts will also have to keep on demonstrating that they are open to scrutiny…”

    Keep on???  When did it start?

  5. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove All it’ll do is highlight the lies politicians have been peddling regarding academies & improvement. Opal Fruits = Starburst

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