The TES is reporting claims from England’s national schools commissioner that all schools should operate in groups because there are not enough “outstanding” headteachers…
Frank Green, appointed by ministers to head their academies and free schools programme, has also warned that free schools will struggle to survive in isolation.
“I don’t think any school should be an academy on its own,” he told a conference in London last week. “I think we should always put them into groups.”
Mr Green’s vision would mean a huge rearrangement of the schools system and a change in government policy.
He told TES that no more than a third of academies were currently in formal multi-school groupings and a quarter of new free schools approved by ministers would operate without being part of multi-academy trusts.
But Mr Green argued that staying outside of larger groupings would threaten their very existence. “I think as free schools develop, particularly if they are only small, they will find it difficult to survive on their own,” he said.
The former academy chain chief executive said he had been convinced of the need for schools to operate in federations after coming across government research and Ofsted findings that showed only a third had leaders that were “outstanding”.
“So my simple engineering mind said, ‘I know the simple solution now to the education problem’,” Mr Green told a Westminster Education Forum event last week.
“We have got to put one outstanding headteacher in charge of every three schools, three schools at a time, and we will get outstanding education.
“As you know, life isn’t that simple. But we do have to do something like that and that is the purpose of federations and groups of schools.”
Mr Green’s call comes after Ofsted’s chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, told TES last month that he wanted all schools to be forced by law to join a cluster or a federation in a bid to drive up standards…
What do you think about these comments from Frank Green of, effectively, looking to get all schools into clusters with, presumably, one executive headteacher responsible for overall leadership? Also, wasn’t the principle of schools not existing in isolation something the local authority model prevented? Please let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter…
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