George Osborne: All schools to become academies within six years

The Independent is reporting that George Osborne, in his budget today, will announce moves to force every English state school to leave council control and become an academy within six years.

…Mr Osborne will tell MPs the Government is pressing ahead with its promise to remove all schools from local authority control. Draft legislation could be published as early as this week by the Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan.

The plans were strongly condemned by unions, council leaders and the Labour Party. The Chancellor was accused by the National Union of Teachers of “undoing over 50 years of comprehensive public education at a stroke”.

Under his timetable, schools will be required to become academies by 2020 or have an academy order in place committing them to change by 2022. Where they refuse to switch status, ministers will be given new powers to force them to convert…

Mr Osborne said: “The Budget I’ll deliver will put the next generation first. And at its heart will be a bold plan to make sure that every child gets the best start in life.

“It is simply unacceptable that Britain continues to sit too low down the global league tables for education. So I’m going to get on with finishing the job we started five years ago, to drive up standards.”

Lucy Powell, the shadow Education Secretary, said: “There is no evidence to suggest that academisation in and of itself leads to school improvement…”

More at: George Osborne to force every English state school to leave council control and become an academy within six years


So far it is looking like this move to force academisation on all schools – along with funding for some schools to lengthen their days – will be the headline policies from the budget with the new legislation expected as soon as tomorrow.

Are you surprised at the speed with which the government is pushing forwards with this or is it what you expected from the Conservative election pledges?

Clearly the plan is for all schools either to be academies or to have an order in place committing them to become academies by 2020 – the date of the next election – so how will things play out if, for example, Labour then come into power?

Please share all your reactions and feedback in the comments or via Twitter…


Do you think all state schools in England will be academies in 2022?

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Today's poll: Compulsory maths for all pupils to 18 - good idea?
Budget to reveal plans for longer school days in England
Categories: Academies, Local authorities, Policy, Primary and Secondary.


  1. LiterateCynic

    SchoolsImprove The best way to give every child the best start would be to remove education from the malign influence of politicians..

  2. MrBKing1988

    SchoolsImprove he wants the best start and school improvement why ignore Finland’s attitude of no school till 7 and limited tests then?

  3. LiterateCynic

    MrBKing1988 True! But in the court of social media, everybody who’s been to school is an expert.. SchoolsImprove

  4. MrBKing1988

    LiterateCynic SchoolsImprove it would certainly appear so. A sad day for the education world when a gvnmt ignores experts n forces chnge

  5. LiterateCynic

    MrBKing1988 It’s been so for a long time. As in all areas, our ‘leaders'(!) know best. SchoolsImprove

  6. MrBKing1988

    LiterateCynic SchoolsImprove well as previously stated they would clearly know best with such a deep personal knowledge of state schools

  7. What happens if sponsors do not come forward to take on schools I wonder. I assume there will be financial incentives. I also wonder about the so called “National Curriculum”, academies do not have to follow it so is it a “National Assessment” (EBacc, Progress 8 ) that will determine the curriculum? What will happen if an academy is failing? I guess another academy chain or MAT will take it over, a sort of pass the parcel. No doubt all will become clear as they make it up on the spot.

  8. Nairb1

    So a policy built on dubious use of statistics (or ‘lies’ as that’s sometimes known) has tried persuasion, tried bribery and now resorts to coercion. A sign of a failed policy.
    It seems that ‘stand alone’ academies will be forced to join a MAT, the SoS will have the power to shut down a MAT and order a take over by another. How long before England’s education system is run by a small number of big businesses making huge profits and directing schools in a way never attempted by LA’s.

  9. JuliecarJulie

    SchoolsImprove A bold plan to make sure no child sees its parents & is pre-prepared for a life of drudgery?

  10. gill_bowden

    SchoolsImprove This is utterly disgraceful. It is highly detrimental to education and the wellbeing of our children. Parents need to act

  11. TW

    Failed Chancellor and not the next Prime Minister tries to hide his failed policies by attacking local government, much of it run by Conservative councils, and handing over good schools to charlatans like himself.

  12. 4C3d Nairb1 Paving the way towards running schools for profit was the intention all along.  Gove said he would let Serco run schools before the 2010 election.

  13. One-third of the promised £1.5b would go on conversion costs alone.

  14. 4C3d Transferring academies costs money: £3m on just 23 changing hands.
    DfE has refused my request to publish costs of transferring academies up to end of August 2015.

  15. Nicky4Kids

    Many parents are not even aware of the Education & Adoption Bill, or if they are, unable to react. 
    I started a petition in 2014 on 38degrees calling for a halt to the Education & Adoption Bill and 38degrees wouldn’t promote it (nobody is interested in education).  I’m not convinced my local Labour councillors understand the ramifications of the Bill, and my Labour Council certainly has no strategy to deal with it.  I’m a parent, not a teacher, and at times I have felt like a one-woman campaigner.  I have since joined CASE – so I now have company!

  16. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove There is no evidence whatsoever that academies improve education and DfE can’t handle the admin of current academies. Genius

  17. acet2001

    SchoolsImprove Osborne playing politics with children’s education. No educational basis for this decision. Death knell for village schools.

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