It’s easier to intervene in academies, says Nicky Morgan

The TES is reporting that Nicky Morgan has told an education conference that changing the status of schools to academies will give the government “much swifter powers” to intervene if they fail…

The education secretary said today that her department did “not hesitate to intervene in academies that are failing”.

“We as a department have much swifter powers to do that than we do in local authority maintained schools, which can often languish for more than an academic year in special measures and that’s not fair on the children in those schools,” she added. 

Ms Morgan said it would be unfair on children if the government avoided intervening in failing local authority schools…

During her speech Ms Morgan said schools should focus on stretching their most able students because “true social justice” meant “enabling the very brightest to jump from Bs to As, just as it does getting others from Ds to Cs.”

She said that there should be a “whole-school approach to character education” because this would help children to “become decent, happy, well-balanced citizens…”

More at: It’s easier to intervene in academies, says Nicky Morgan


How do you react to the suggestion from Nicky Morgan that academisation works because it then gives the government more powers to intervene (rather, I presume she means, than necessarily being a solution in its own right)?

Is this a change of emphasis in the reasoning behind the moves to make more schools into academies?

And what of the comments on stretching the most able students and character education?

The full TES article also gives an interesting response from the education secretary to a question from a Year 5 student about the potentially negative impact of testing.


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Categories: Academies and Local authorities.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Even though legally the DfE can act quicker on “failing” academies than LA schools, that doesn’t mean they do…

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove This smacks of a rather lame attempt at justification by NickyMorgan01 for the aggressive academy conversion policy

  3. Bedtonman

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Local Authorities used to be able to intervene quickly in failing schools…

  4. lennyvalentino

    SchoolsImprove Isn’t this in part because they are changing the law so that schools can’t appeal? Does appear to be a shift in rhetoric.

  5. rob_kelsall

    rob_kelsall anyone who knows complexities of Charity and Company Law will tell you. Claim that it’s easier to intervene in academies?!

  6. Nairb

    Morgan’s comment about schools languishing for more than a year in special measures just exposes her complete lack of understanding about the issues facing schools in these circumstances. Amazingly she seems to genuinely believe that ‘immediate action’ simply means parachuting in new leadership via an academy sponsor and it’s job done. Every special measures school I’ve worked with benefits from a few ‘quick wins’. That’s the easy bit. It’s developing and embedding good practice that takes more time. Rush it and the school soon falls back. Good local authorities, and there are plenty, have a process for identifying schools which appear to be on a downward path and intervene before that goes too far, supporting the school to reverse the trend. Morgan and Gibb, of course, choose to ignore the facts, preferring to mislead through continual negative comments and innuendo. ‘Council controlled, languishing, dead-hand’ are wheeled out frequently. As usual Morgan hasn’t got a clue … sound bites about ‘not fair on children’ make her sound both concerned and focused. Neither is true.

  7. TW

    Ridiculous woman.  It’s not unknown for local authorities to be unable to do anything about a failing school because jokers from Ofsted have labelled it Good or Outstanding.  A local authority can neither put a school in Special Measures nor take it out as it is Ofsted that makes that decision.

  8. JaninLincoln

    SchoolsImprove Difference is that LAs often spotted dips earlier, & could intervene before actually entering a category. Prevention/cure

  9. JaninLincoln

    SchoolsImprove Difference is that LAs often spotted dips earlier, & could intervene before actually entering a category. Prevention/cure

  10. The National Audit Office found informal interventions such as support were more effective than formal methods such as academy conversion.  Nicky Morgan, like her predecessor, ignores anything that doesn’t fit her prejudices.

  11. @Nairb The previous Gov’t allowed chains to expand rapidly and take over ‘failing’ schools.  The result: AET grew so fast it couldn’t cope and it has to lose some of its academies; E-Act spent taxpayers’ money extravagantly and also has to lose some of its schools; Prospects, allegedly allowed to take over more schools by then schools minister Lord Hill against civil servant’s advice, has gone into liquidation; IES Breckland is still ‘languishing’ in special measures after more than a year but the Gov’t hasn’t cancelled the contract with for-profit IES to run this free school.
    And Hanson School, recently judged Inadequate, has been in conversion limbo for four years and still conversion isn’t complete.

  12. pompeyanne

    SchoolsImprove so that summarises why they love academies, they want to bring down the governments own system and take control. #justgotit

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