The Guardian is reporting that Nicky Morgan has launched a consultation on introducing tough measures to intervene and take over failing and coasting schools, with a strong attack on those who campaign against academies.
…The Department for Education (DfE) said the aim was to “sweep away the bureaucracy previously exploited by opponents with ideological objections who could delay or obstruct the process by which academy sponsors take over to improve the running of schools”.
In an outspoken attack, later condemned by the National Union of Teachers, Morgan said: “For too long campaigners have deployed underhand tactics, spread malicious rumours and intimidated parents in order to deny children the opportunity of success.
“Our new measures will allow teachers to get on with the job of improving failing schools and deliver on our commitment to extend opportunity and deliver real social justice.”
The DfE issued a press release in which Morgan backed headteachers speaking out against “hostile” opponents to academies, accusing them of seeking to “deny children the opportunity of success”.
One headteacher quoted in the statement said campaigners “scared and intimidated” parents who supported a move to become an academy. There were also claims that another school was physically attacked several times by protesters who did not want it to be taken over by the Harris Federation and turned into an academy.
The DfE is also seeking views on the much-contested definition of what constitutes a “coasting” school. Those deemed to be coasting for three consecutive years will also be eligible for intervention, though help will be offered first before academy sponsors move in.
According to the government’s proposed definition, a coasting secondary school will be one that falls below 60% of pupils achieving five good GCSEs or an above-average proportion of pupils making acceptable progress in 2014/5.
From 2016, the level will be set based on Progress 8 – the government’s new accountability measure, which shows how much progress pupils make between the end of primary school and their GCSEs.
At primary level, the definition will apply to those schools who have seen fewer than 85% of children achieving an acceptable secondary ready standard in reading, writing and maths over the course of three years, and insufficient pupil progress…
See more on this from the DfE at: Intervening in failing, underperforming and coasting schools or read the documents below:[pdf-embedder url=”https://4cpa373vsw6v3t1suthjdjgv-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Intervening_in_failing_underperforming_and_coasting_schools.pdf”]
Strong words from Nicky Morgan and the DfE about those campaigning against academy conversion.
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