Academy rush - what rush?

29 Jul 2010

The prospect of a large number of schools taking the new route to academy status by next term now looks to be fading.

A new list of schools that have applied for academy status has been quietly slipped out by the Department for Education (posted in an obscure part of the DfE website with no accompanying press notice -- what happened to transparency?

It includes only about 120 secondary schools, some 20 of which are grammar schools.  There are also some 45 primary schools.

This compares with the much larger number of schools that had 'registered an interest' in the process.

 The list does not say how many, if any, of these schools will open as academies in September.

The Academies Bill received Royal Assent this week. The government justified the rush in passing the Bill by saying a 'significant number' of schools wished to become academies by September.

The deadline for applications to open this September was June 30th, although the list published by the DfE runs up to 23rd July, so some schools on the list may have missed the deadline.

The Shadow Education Secretary, Ed balls, said Mr Gove 'must explain why he rushed this Bill and misleadingly claimed that more than one thousand schools had applied'.


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