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Hinds to face education committee grilling over academy accountability and exclusions



Damian Hinds has been summoned to appear in front of MPs to answer questions about academy trust accountability, exclusions and the state of careers advice.

The education secretary will be grilled by the powerful parliamentary education committee on Wednesday next week.

The committee is “likely to want to ask about issues including multi-academy trusts and accountability, school exclusions and careers advice”, a spokesperson for the committee said.

MPs may also touch on “the subject of academy finance and the academy sector annual report and accounts”.

The annual report, released two months ago, included a number of worrying revelations. For example, it showed that the number of trusts paying at least one person over £100,000 has gone up, more trusts are in deficit, more chains are collapsing and there has been an increase in reported fraud.

The hearing also comes as the schools community anxiously awaits the findings of a landmark government review of exclusions, led by former minister Ed Timpson. The inquiry was announced in response to a steady increase in permanent and fixed-term exclusions in schools, and wider concerns about the quality of alternative provision.

Questions about careers will almost certainly focus on the work of the Careers and Enterprise Company, which was the subject of two hearings by the committee last year.

It also comes after the Department for Education warned schools they could face “direct intervention” if they continue to ignore the controversial so—called “Baker clause”, a legal duty to give training providers and colleges access to pupils so they can hear about different education and career pathways.

Hinds will be joined by the DfE’s permanent secretary Jonathan Slater.



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2 Comments

  1. According to the recent HEPI report which uses a narrow measure – the proportion of pupils entering ‘elite’ universities – to judge a school system, it would appear that the only acceptable careers advice is to push pupils towards these universities. And if a school has pupils unlikely to progress to rarefied academia, well they can be shuffled elsewhere, surely?

  2. Sarah Murray

    This inquiry is long overdue regarding permanent exclusions and the detrimental long term effects on young people. They are effectively thrown on the scrap-heap at a young age and can look forward to a life of social exclusion.
    Permanent school exclusions scarcely happened.. it now appears a regular occurrence and wonder if this is to fuel the profitable PRU’s.