Academies

Schools bill: Zahawi promises ‘no new burdens’ for academies

Education secretary vows not to restrict the 'very freedoms that enable academy success'

Education secretary vows not to restrict the 'very freedoms that enable academy success'

masks

The government will not impose “any new burdens” that would restrict the “freedoms” of academies, the education secretary will promise today, further signalling plans to water down his controversial schools bill.

Speaking at the Confederation of School Trusts annual conference today, Nadhim Zahawi will acknowledge excellence was “not something that can be achieved by a list of standards, or a piece of regulation”.

But Zahawi’s own draft bill sets out in its very first clause a long list of examples of standards the government may set for academies in future.

The scope of the bill has prompted widespread criticism and claims of a “power grab” by Whitehall over schools in England.

Yesterday, academies minister Baroness Barran signalled the government’s intention to water down the bill.

Zahawi said he was “hugely proud” of the schools bill, and said baseline requirements for trusts were needed because we “don’t want those who are failing, to damage the excellent reputation that you have all worked so hard to build”.

“But let me be clear: this is not about the Department for Education telling you how to run your trusts.

“I believe – this government believes – that you know best how to deliver excellence. It is not something that can be achieved by a list of standards, or a piece of regulation.”

Zahawi acknowledged there had been “some concern about the scope of our bill”, and specifically clause one and the “possible centralisation of power over academies”.

“I hear those concerns. So let me say again; I will not impose any new burdens that would restrict the very freedoms that enable you to be such a success.”

As pledged in the schools white paper earlier this year, the government will shortly begin a review of the current regulatory and accountability system for academy trusts.

Zahawi said today this would consider “the role of commissioning, regulation and inspection”, and said the current system “wasn’t designed for a fully trust-led system comprising thousands of schools across the country”.

“Let’s put a more positive spin on it: you have become a victim of your own success.

“It is because of the increase in the number, and size, and quality of academy trusts and the many benefits you bring to pupils, parents and staff alike that we are now in a position to put the trust system on a permanent statutory footing.”

Latest education roles from

Midday Meals Supervisors

Midday Meals Supervisors

Ark John Keats Academy

Academic Coach in Hair

Academic Coach in Hair

Hull College

Lecturer in Catering

Lecturer in Catering

Hull College

Curriculum Manager – Maths

Curriculum Manager – Maths

Barnet and Southgate College

EA to the CEO & Senior Directors

EA to the CEO & Senior Directors

Haberdashers’ Academies Trust South

Head of Faculty (History and RS)

Head of Faculty (History and RS)

Ark Greenwich Free School

Sponsored posts

Sponsored post

How can we prepare learners for their future in an ever-changing world?

By focusing their curriculums on transferable skills, digital skills, and sustainability, schools and colleges can be confident that learners...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

Inspiring Education Leaders for 10 Years

The 10th Inspiring Leadership Conference is to be held on 13 and 14 June 2024 at the ICC in...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

Inspire creativity in your classroom. Sky Arts’ Access All Arts week is back!

Now in its third year, Access All Arts week is a nationwide celebration of creativity for primary schools (17-21...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

Unleash the Power of Sport in your setting this summer! National School Sports Week is back!

Unleash the Power of Sport this summer with National School Sports Week powered by Monster Kickabout! From 17-23 June,...

SWAdvertorial

More from this theme

Academies

Ministers face another £500k loss on failed £35m free school

Parkfield also says it ‘can’t compete’ with a newer free school, laying bare problems with government’s flagship policy

Jack Dyson
Academies

Transparency calls over secret £200m academy trust handouts

Investigation into extra cash available to trusts finds half not open to applications, and one has no public presence...

Jack Dyson
Academies

The 8 funding streams for new trusts or those looking to grow…

Schools Week's explainer on the extra funding available to trusts, what it is for and how much is available

Jack Dyson
Academies

DfE in court over falling rolls academy plan

High Court challenge over its decision to academise a school council planned to close amid falling rolls

Jack Dyson

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *