Government U-turn On Academy Conversion Plans

16-05-2016

In a turnaround from the recent announcement of the Government’s plan to convert all schools to academies, Nicky Morgan has now announced that there are exceptions to this rule. “Good” and “Outstanding” schools with strong local authorities will have the choice whether to convert or not, although Morgan believes that academy status will still raise standards.

However, the Government will still press ahead with compulsory conversion under certain conditions:

  • In areas where many schools have already converted to academy status meaning that the local authority cannot support the remaining schools sufficiently.
  • Where schools under the local education authority cannot meet the minimum performance standards.

The Local Government Association conducted an analysis on the grades achieved by local schools and established that only 73% of academies and 79% of free schools are rated as “Good” or “Outstanding”, compared to 81% of council-maintained schools. This shows that many of these schools may retain their current status instead of all schools becoming academies as previously thought.

Rural schools are under protection measures which include additional financial support and a stipulation which requires closure of any particular school to be agreed by the regional schools commissioner and the local education authority.

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