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…”
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?
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