• MPs’ stern warning over ‘incoherent’ system and costly, ‘risky’ academisation

    A powerful committee of MPs has warned that the government failed to properly scrutinise the early stages of the academies programme and has not learned from its high-profile failures. A report by the parliamentary public accounts committee into the government’s record on converting schools into academies found the Department for Education “did not pay enough attention”

    0.01 Jul. 11th, 2018 | News

  • The slow speed of emergency academisation

    Not a single failing school became an academy less than nine months after an inspection in at least 26 local authorities over the past three years, Schools Week can exclusively reveal. Schools have been unable to secure takeovers due to a lack of sponsors, complicated PFI contracts, and even because regional schools commissioners sent academy

    5.00 Apr. 21st, 2018 | News

  • Academy autonomy 'has no positive impact in the classroom'

    Almost half of academy leaders believe that the extra autonomy granted to academies has no positive impact in the classroom, according to new analysis by the Sutton Trust. Thirty per cent of academy senior leaders who took part in a poll on the additional autonomy that comes from academy status said it had “no effect”

    0.01 Apr. 19th, 2018 | News

  • Academisation makes it harder for local schools to work together

    Changes to governance and organisation structures are starting to make it more challenging for schools to work collaboratively, says Anna Hennell James. In Ipswich, where I work, we have a cluster of local schools made up of two high schools and seven feeder primaries. Schools in the area have historically worked around school-based “pyramids”, which

    5.00 Oct. 4th, 2017 | Opinion

  • Sponsored academies lose more pupils after takeovers

    More pupils leave schools when they become sponsored academies than when they are under local authority control, a new report has shown. Researchers at Education Datalab analysed up to three years of data for 149 schools. Among those that became sponsored academies in 2010-11, the rate of pupils leaving – to other schools, alternative provision,

    17.00 Feb. 2nd, 2017 | News

  • Sixth-form colleges move to start academy trusts

    At least four sixth-form colleges have started consulting on becoming academies, with half eyeing up sponsorship of other schools in their own multi-academy trusts. Priestley college (pictured), in Warrington, is the latest to announce formal proposals for academy conversion, following applications from Hereford sixth form college, Rochdale sixth form college, and New College Pontefract. Priestley

    5.00 Oct. 15th, 2016 | News

  • Founders of Christian faith school resign after secular takeover

    The founders of a Christian-ethos free school have resigned as trustees, citing anger at the government’s “lack of protection” for the institution’s religious character. Elizabeth Gray and John Burn have stepped away from the Grindon Hall Christian school in Sunderland as a lengthy takeover by the Bright Tribe academy trust nears its conclusion. The pair

    5.00 Oct. 2nd, 2016 | News

  • Government 'taking forward' academies white paper, Greening confirms

    The government remains committed to the idea of all schools becoming academies and is “pulling together” legislation to enact its Education for All white paper, Justine Greening has confirmed. School leaders had raised concerns with Schools Week about a confusion between the green paper plans for selection and the white paper focus on academies. Greening

    11.11 Sep. 15th, 2016 | News

  • Our LA is quite 'hands-off' anyway, so what freedoms would academy conversion bring?

    We don’t currently understand the freedoms that converting might give us – what additional freedoms are there? We’re pretty much left to do what we want at the moment anyway as our local authority is quite ‘hands-off’, so what will the difference be? Christine says: I’m not surprised you don’t understand the ‘freedoms’ that converting might bring,

    5.00 Sep. 8th, 2016 | Opinion

  • Can church schools become stand-alone academies?

    Question: Is the memorandum of understanding between the Department for Education and the Church of England/Catholic Church a legally binding document?  Can church schools become stand-alone academies or do they have to become part of a diocesan-led trust? Victoria says: In order to answer the above, we need to look first at how a church school

    5.00 Aug. 30th, 2016 | Opinion

  • Can the council force an academy named on an EHCP to meet a pupil's need?

    Can a local authority enforce a school named on an Education, Health and Care Plan to meet a pupil’s need, if that school is within a multi-academy trust and schools in MATs have no legal status? Antony says: In answering this question, it is important to consider the key principles in respect of naming a placement,

    5.00 Aug. 8th, 2016 | Opinion