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They are NOT going to make ALL schools ACADEMY now

(35 Posts)
RTKangaMummy Fri 06-May-16 15:11:46

Education dept just announced

RTKangaMummy Fri 06-May-16 15:14:50

From BBC website

Plans to force all of England's schools to become academies are being abandoned in a government climbdown.
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan hopes the concessions will meet the demands of Tory rebels opposed to compelling high-performing schools to convert.
This was about the government listening, she said, adding ministers understood top schools should retain the choice on whether to convert.
The move comes days after threats of industrial action by head teachers.
Academies are independently run - but state-funded - schools, overseen by a not-for-profit business, known as an academy trust. They are often part of a chain.
The controversial plans to require all schools to convert to academy status, or have plans to do so, by 2022 were announced in the Budget.
'Choice to convert'
It was not long before opposition to the idea was heard from teachers and head teachers, education experts and MPs and councillors - both Conservative and opposition.
Mrs Morgan told the BBC in an interview: "This is about being a listening government and I would consider myself to be a listening Secretary of State.
"Better to have reforms than have none at all."
She added: "We absolutely support those strong local authorities where schools are good and outstanding they can make the choice to convert.
"I hope that they will because we are convinced that becoming academies does lift standards but they can do the right thing for them and I think that reflects the concerns and the conversations that we have had."
Conservatives have been voicing opposition to the plans in recent weeks, particularly because all schools - even highly performing ones - were to be forced into the new arrangements.
Melinda Tilley, an Oxfordshire county councillor, complained of "diktats from above" and expressed concerns about small village schools closing.
Labour had argued that the academies programme was already hitting problems, with a number of large-scale trusts being sanctioned for failing to improve results fast enough.
Ministers countered that the new landscape would provide a high level of autonomy to schools, and help drive up standards through greater innovation and competition in the system.
Currently all schools can choose to convert to academy status, but those deemed to be struggling or failing to improve sufficiently, can be forced to convert. That will remain the case under these new plans.

Mishaps Fri 06-May-16 15:16:00

So much for NM's "No reverse gear." Dreadful woman full of dreadful ideas - the sooner she gets the boot the better.

There are some true gems of rural primary schools that need to be nurtured and preserved, not swallowed up in vast MATs.

BackforGood Fri 06-May-16 15:27:00

Fantastic news.

RTKangaMummy Fri 06-May-16 15:47:27

Yes my DS is at Uni now but hated the thought of ALL schools being forced to become an academy especially the little schools that do very well serving the local children in the community

SocksRock Fri 06-May-16 15:49:38

Our small rural Oxfordshire primary has just converted to being an academy, seems to be OK so far. The governing body were very selective about who they went with though.

RTKangaMummy Fri 06-May-16 15:57:34

I think (but like I said I am not the school system any longer) that from an outsider's PoV if a school wants to change over to being an academy then that is fine, it is the "forcing" to become one that I didn't like the sound of

Luciferbox Fri 06-May-16 15:58:36

Thank goodness

CremeEggThief Fri 06-May-16 16:01:37


RTKangaMummy Fri 06-May-16 16:03:07

I have just realised something .......

They announce this U turn on election results day so it won't get noticed so much in papers or news programmes - sneaky?

Finola1step Fri 06-May-16 16:03:24

Ah but read the small print. Schools will still be forced to become academies if the local authority can not adequately support them. I wonder if there will be transparency over criteria for this judgement.

CluelessClaudia Fri 06-May-16 16:13:35

That's no different to now really Finola. Schools only need support (in theory) if they're graded Requires Improvement or Inadequate and these schools are already forced into becoming acadamies. The criteria are slightly different I think - inadequate = forced, but RI given time to improve. I would read today's announcement as back to where we are now.

kateemo Fri 06-May-16 16:28:54

Also Kanga the news today that the "weekend effect" is not a real thing and that Jeremy Hunt was wrong to repeat this as the reason for imposing junior doctors' contracts over and over again, even misleading parliament. That too gets buried in election day results.

VERY happy about this and all the other U-turns. Now if this government would just admit that they haven't a clue what they're doing, actually take the time to fact-find, gather consensus, and implement policies in every department sensibly rather than throw around ideological daggers. . .

noblegiraffe Fri 06-May-16 16:40:52

This is presumably because the head teachers conference voted that they were prepared to take industrial action over this.

BackforGood Fri 06-May-16 17:10:14

Lets just hope Jeremy Hunt takes a tip out of her book too, and tries listening to what every other person in the country thinks.

BlueEyeshadow Fri 06-May-16 17:14:16

Finola / Claudia - But the DfE just tweeted this: "Where a LA is underperforming or unviable, legislation will be introduced to convert all schools within that LA to become an academy."

That is different to now, because at the moment they only force individual schools (which can now be RI and not just Inadequate, and a whole can of worms that is!), rather than every school, incl. the good and outstanding ones, in an LA (not a LA, tsk!).

So they're still just as keen on forced academies as ever, and will find plenty of ways to make LAs "unviable" (is that even a word?), or deem them "underperforming".

GoblinLittleOwl Fri 06-May-16 17:33:00

Delighted to hear this, although they need to examine the whole Academy ideology before forcing one more school to convert.
They also need to take a long hard look at small rural schools and ignore the sentiment surrounding them; they cannot provide a full education with small rolls, limited staff and poor accommodation.
What is more important is the reason why these schools are so small: second homes and holiday lets occupy 65% of homes in pretty rural villages round here, and create ghost villages for most of the year. This is what needs addressing.

pointythings Fri 06-May-16 18:01:06

I like a good U-turn.

But I don't trust them not to come at this from a different direction by labeling a local authority as 'underperforming' by finagling the criteria.

RTKangaMummy Fri 06-May-16 18:02:42

kateemo yes that was just demonstrated on the news

"Sorry we don't have much time to talk about this, as it is a very busy day, hope you understand"

rollonthesummer Fri 06-May-16 18:09:38

I was pleased until I read the small print. This is just another way of getting rid of LEAs and pushing in forced academisation in by the back door. My crystal ball predicts that in the extremely near future, lots of LEAs that were previously good, are now inspected and all of a sudden found to be failinghmm

clopper Fri 06-May-16 18:29:59

I really hope this turns out to be good news but I have a feeling they will engineer inspections etc. To make this happen regardless. I wish heads would stand up to this constant change more although I suspect it was Tory councils which forced the climb down.

BungoWomble Fri 06-May-16 19:51:05


I also worry that they'll find a stealth way of trying to force it. Who trusts government nowadays. But a great victory for common sense, and congratulations and thanks to all the teachers who stood up against it. And the Tory backbenchers. Perhaps there's still some hope left for this country after all.

neolara Fri 06-May-16 20:28:39

In our local authority, less than 50% of secondary schools are good or better and results are much worse than the national average. Every secondary school is an academy. However, primaries are doing well and most are still maintained by the LA. I have a nasty feeling the government is going to say as we are a failing LA we're all going to have to convert.

TheDailyWail Fri 06-May-16 20:34:58

Nicky Morgan said today that "it was the right thing to do".

Just the tip of the iceberg of right things to do IMO.

Kennington Fri 06-May-16 20:36:54

Academies don't require teachers to have teaching qualifications so it is a money saving plan
I really hope academies aren't forced on us all

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