The Sunday Times is reporting that government plans to be published in the spring could result in every state school in England being released from local council control and turned into an academy by 2020.
The paper says a green paper will be published in the new year with the aim of delivering on David Cameron’s ambition to make “local authorities running schools a thing of the past” and complete the “true blue education revolution” started by Michael Gove.
The report suggests last week’s spending review gave a hint of what was to come by opening the way for sixth-form colleges to become academies and suggests ministers believe the move could save hundreds of millions.
It also says that in ‘previously unreported’ aspects of the spending review, the chancellor said that the government’s goal was “to complete this schools revolution and help every secondary school become an academy” with power being in the hands of heads and teachers, “not bureaucrats”.
The paper notes any such move would be strongly opposed and also touches on Ofsted’s annual report – due out this week – which is expected to say that turning a school into an academy does not automatically lead to a rise in standards and that some of the best schools still being run by local authorities.
Roy Perry, the Conservative leader of Hampshire county council and chairman of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, is quoted:
“If government were to say there is no role for local government in education that would be a sad day. I hope this does not become a political issue. Within Conservative-controlled councils we see ourselves as having a very positive and important role in education.”
“Schools spend billions of public money yet, at present, there is no rigorous accountability for academies that are ‘coasting’; no clear understanding of what happens when one falls into this category; and no risk assessment in place for those rated as good or above. Local democratically elected councils should have a role in this.”
More at: All schools to be academies by 2020 (subscription may be required)
How do you react to the suggestion by the Sunday Times that the government is looking to convert all schools in England to academies by 2020 (or, in other words, before the end of this parliament)?
If it was achieved, where would it leave the Labour Party’s plans?
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