Nicky Morgan appeals to business leaders to set up more academies

The Guardian is reporting that the education secretary has made a direct appeal to UK business leaders to come forward to set up more academy trusts, amid claims the government is facing a shortage of sponsors.

In a speech to more than 150 leading figures from the world of business, Morgan urged them to “play their part” in what she called the schools revolution, encouraging them to either found or develop academy trusts to help drive up standards in schools…

Speaking at a House of Lords reception for industry experts, Morgan said: “There can be no more rewarding endeavour than applying a life’s experience and skills to transforming the life chances of children. Business leaders develop the knowhow to tackle some of our society’s toughest problems and have the drive and energy to overcome challenges – qualities that translate directly to driving up standards in schools.

“Whether by founding or developing academy trusts, joining governing bodies to provide oversight and encouragement or providing careers advice and mentoring, I am today calling for more business leaders to play their part and join the schools revolution.”

…The gathering of business leaders is being seen as an attempt by government to drum up vital support for the extension of its academies programme.

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, welcomed the involvement of business leaders in schools but said academies and academy trusts were not the only solution to the problems facing the education system…

More at: UK education secretary appeals to businesses to set up more academies


I would have thought the broader idea of encouraging more business leaders to become involved with schools would be a very welcome one, but what do you make of the specific call for them to create more academy trusts? 

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. brighton118

    SchoolsImprove – Not convinced by anything she says ! They just want more Academy sponsors. #keeppoliticiansoutofpolicymaking

  2. brighton118

    SchoolsImprove – That should have read – Keep politicians out of education policy making ! More typos when annoyed by politicians!

  3. peterabarnard

    SchoolsImprove There’s a revolution? Wow…what changed? Schools are more alike than ever and more divorced from doing any good..

  4. TW

    Nothing stopping business leaders from joining governing bodies.  But as for them running schools, would they know more or less about it than dopey Nicky?

  5. Top_kat1

    SchoolsImprove NickyMorgan01 informed_edu I do believe it is impt to have all editors involved in edu reform- as long as all are (1/2)

  6. Top_kat1

    SchoolsImprove NickyMorgan01 informed_edu actively involved in the crucial formation do what ‘good’ education is- not just data chasing

  7. But her junior minister Nick Gibb has admitted academies and free schools aren’t ‘necessarily better’ than other types of schools.
    So why the push to involve businesses in running schools? Could it be part of the move towards allowing companies like Serco to run schools? This is something Gove said he would be happy to allow before the 2010 election.

  8. @TW Could be they’re encouraged by the thought of all those related-party transactions diverting taxpayers’ money into companies connected with academy trustees or their relatives.
    The NAO warned way back in 2010 there were potential conflicts of interest between sponsors and their academies.  Many academies told NAO they felt under pressure to buy services from their sponsors.

  9. PrimaryLeader

    SchoolsImprove NickyMorgan01 prim sponsor academies after 4yrs conversion – result in lower attainment than LA maintained schs on average

  10. PrimaryLeader

    SchoolsImprove NickyMorgan01 prim sponsor academies after 4yrs conversion – result in lower attainment than LA maintained schs on average

  11. SashaPleasance

    SchoolsImprove Interesting use of the word ‘revolution’ here – is it more demolition of education as we know it?

  12. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Didn’t this speech come the day after it was revealed free schools & academies more likely to have financial irregularities?

  13. brighton118

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove-Yep wants bus people 2 sponsor academies/free schools. What about bus people helping with careers all schls?

  14. andrew_1910

    brighton118 andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Employers (obvs) more concerned with identifying talent in as many schs as poss.

  15. The_Data_Adonis

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove a school differs from a business you can’t just liquidate it and start up again having striped the assets

  16. TW

    The_Data_Adonis andylutwyche SchoolsImprove  But you can just strip the assets by selling off the desks, books etc as has happened in America when an an edu-business failed.

Let us know what you think...