Schools tsar sets out plan to bring academies to heel

The TES is reporting that the government’s new schools tsar has given them insights into his blueprint for bringing England’s 5,000 academies and free schools to heel.

In his first interview since becoming national schools commissioner, Sir David Carter told TES of plans to identify the 100 weakest academies in the country and to introduce a new hierarchical system of academy chains…

Under Sir David’s plan, academy chains or multi-academy trusts (MATs) will be organised into four distinct levels based on the number of schools under their control. They will have undergo new assessments before being allowed to expand to reach the next tier.

The biggest chains will be directly accountable to Sir David and known as “system leader trusts”.

Sir David said that he wants to bring some “rigour” into the expansion of academies. “I am really keen to think about what growth and expansion means in the system,” he told TES…

See more in the 26 February edition of TES. 

More at: Schools tsar sets out plan to bring academies to heel


What do you think of the details revealed here by Sir David about the way he intends to oversee academies and academy chains?

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Categories: Academies.


  1. red

    Why is it that our local academies are rated Requires Improvement but yet our council are expanding them! And all because the shut an excellent comp!!

  2. Nairb1

    So academies were freed from the control of councils (which was a politically convenient Tory lie, since the introduction of local management of schools in 1985) and are now being micromanaged by academy trusts and are increasingly subject to control by government appointees at national and regional level. Welcome to the brave new world of autonomous schools and local democracy in education!

  3. TW

    Hilarious.  Whatever happened to all those wonderful improvements that ‘independent’ academies would obtain to show normal schools how to do things properly. A total fraud right from the start.

  4. @red If the local academies are expanding it’s likely because they’ve increased their annual Pupil Admission Number (PAN).  Academies can do this without asking for permission.
    Local Authorities have no power to direct an academy to expand even if the area needs more school places.  Whether to expand or not is completely in the hands of each academy.

  5. Perhaps the ‘rigour’ should have been shown before academy chains rapidly increased.  But Gove, remember, said in 2011 he wanted academy chains to grow as quickly as possible (see
    Another example of the DfE approach to school reform which the new Chair of the Education Select Committee described as ‘acting first; thinking later’.

  6. AlfredoNokez1

    Slowly but steadily, step by step, we’ll create private versions of ‘local authorities’ but without any controls…

  7. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove You’ll excuse me for not getting excited about what an “academy tsar” is going to do about academies…

  8. andylutwyche

    BridgetBurke2 MaryBoustedATL SchoolsImprove Education tsars do seem like the rabbits of education; multiplying uncontrollably

  9. BridgetBurke2

    andylutwyche MaryBoustedATL SchoolsImprove miconm and I are still waiting for the call, although she has better credentials U0001f602

  10. duncanspalding

    SchoolsImprove MarkChater1 is there a link to the article. First thought on system leader trusts…yuk. Just like big supermarkets. Poor.

  11. duncanspalding

    SchoolsImprove MarkChater1 more focus on the system level, empire builders & nest featherers. Breeds culture of deference not collegiality

  12. JohnBocking

    andylutwyche In 10 years we’ll look in despair at current madness in ed- too much freedom & lack of accountability for academies, MAT & TSA

  13. red

    @Janet2 Thank you for your reply. Kent County Council have pressurised the academies (buttering up the heads with their visits and flouring them with compliments) to expand after they shut an excellent comp that has had well above average results (beating all but one non selective local school!) in the last 3 years before it closed on 31st August because it wasn’t attracting numbers. The consultations have taken place and now decisions will be made, not that any of the objections will be listened to! KCC said that all children should go to a Good rated school but yet they are wanting to increase Requires Improvement schools!

  14. TW

    RichardGrantham SchoolsImprove  Except that local authorities are democratically elected.  These ‘commissioner’ types are in effect  appointed to do as they are told.

  15. wheelerofads

    SchoolsImprove Tsar is an interesting term to use. It says autocracy to me. However, look what happened to Nicholas II!

  16. davew2101969

    SchoolsImprove so you can be autonomous, you can’t be autonomous. More shambolic education ‘policy’ from the government.

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