Academies stampede

02 Jun 2010

 Schools in England have rushed to be on the starting line for Michael Gove's dash for academy status.

Since he wrote to head teachers just last week, over 1100 schools have registered their interest. 626 of these are "outstanding" schools which are due to get "pre-approval" for academy status if the Academies Bill is passed by Parliament.

But is it really wise to race into something as complex as academy status so fast? The government would like to have some new academies in place by September but that gives little time for proper consultation with parents.

As some have pointed out, these schools became "outstanding" while part of the local authority system. They are already excellent. This is quite different from the former model of turning failing schools into academies.

It is also slightly surprising that 273 "outstanding" primary schools have registered. Primaries in a federation may be well prepared for this but for some others  it is a bit of a gamble.

Of course, there is one big carrot...the extra cash. This may be proving decisive at a time when schools are nervous about future spending cuts.

A real case of carrot and stick. As yet, these schools have only registered their interest....let's hope they don't turn out to have been driven/led like donkeys!


User Comments

Peter Copping - 03 Jun 2010

Academy Funding

I can find nothing in the Academy Bill or anywhere else about funding the 'NEW' Academies which include so called 'Free Schools' Up to now they have I understand been funded on the same basis as LEA schools in their area. If they are to be funded on a basis determined centrally it will make cuts much easier.
Incidentally the bill I think allows 'private schools' to apply for academy status which raises the issue of funding other than from state resources via some creative accountancy.

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