The Department for Education’s top official has admitted it is impossible to prove that forcing schools to become academies offers better value for taxpayers’ money than leaving them with local authorities. Tes reports.
At a public accounts committee held today, Labour MP Gareth Snell asked Mr Slater: “Is there any evidence that rescuing under-performing schools via forced academisation provides better value for money than a rescue package for them inside the local authority?”
He added: “We could have a situation where we’re spending vast sums of money to transfer schools over to academy systems without really getting any additional educational output from those schools.”
Mr Slater responded: “It’s pretty difficult, isn’t it, looking at the counter-factual [of] what would have happened [with no conversion].
“We can see simple facts that seven out of 10 sponsored academies…are now good or outstanding. Would it have been possible to do that in a different way?…”
Pressed again, he said there was “international evidence” that turning schools from “good” to “great” involved de-centralising powers to those schools.
Increasingly, the purpose of conversations was to help needy schools to “pair up” with schools that could help them, he said.
Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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