Following the Government’s u-turn in regards to academisation, they have now issued an update to clarify their views. They reconfirmed their support for the White Paper they had issued but said that, following feedback, they would consider each case individually. Additional pressure may have been applied by the fact that the NAHT confirmed there would be industrial action taken if academisation was forced.
“As a result of these conversations, the government has decided, while reaffirming our continued determination to see all schools to become academies in the next 6 years, that it is not necessary to bring legislation to bring about blanket conversion of all schools to achieve this goal.” The Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP
Their focus will continue to be on underperforming schools. They have already issued 104 notices in the last month to schools needing support. Also in the last month 227 schools have applied to convert.
In addition to underperforming schools the government will look to support academisation in local authority areas where the majority of schools have already converted. It will also look to convert schools in areas where the local authority has failed to meet minimum performance.
“I am today reaffirming our determination to see all schools to become academies. However, having listened to the feedback from Parliamentary colleagues and the education sector we will now change the path to reaching that goal. By focusing our efforts on those schools most at risk of failing young people, and encouraging ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ schools to seize the opportunities of conversion, we will ensure the continued growth of the academy programme, empowering frontline heads and school leads, and transforming even more children’s education.”
The Government has made £300m in funding available to support conversion. They also reconfirmed that small rural schools will “benefit from landmark changes made to school ‘sparsity funding’”.
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