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MumsnetGuestPosts (MNHQ) Fri 18-Mar-16 17:09:13

Guest post: Nicky Morgan - "Why academisation is best for our schools"

While deputy head Tim Paramour argues that turning all schools into academies is a gamble with our children's futures, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan says the change will allow every student to fulfil their potential

Nicky Morgan

Education Secretary

Posted on: Fri 18-Mar-16 17:09:13


Lead photo

"I am a firm believer that an exceptional education transforms children's futures."

As parents, we all want the best for our children. We want to make sure they have access to the best opportunities and to help them grow up into well-rounded adults. Making sure that our children have a high quality education is a key part of that.

I want to outline exactly what academisation means and why I truly believe this is the best way forward for our schools. Our children only have one shot at receiving the best education and I am committed to ensuring this happens as swiftly as possible.

We need to put our trust into the hands of the people that know best how to run our schools - the teachers - and the academy system does just that. This video tells you more about what an academy is. It gives schools greater autonomy to make the decisions that are right for their community and pupils. After all, we have the finest generation of teachers ever and being part of an academy helps put the power back in their hands.

The most recent results show that the percentage of pupils achieving the expected level in reading, writing and maths at the end of Key Stage 2 in primary academies has risen by 4%, from 67% in 2014 to 71% in 2015. Additionally, when it comes to secondary, it's a similar story with converter academies which are performing 7.2% above the national average, with 64.3% of pupils achieving five good GCSEs.

I am committed to making it easier for you as a parent to play an even more active role in your child's education. I want to put young people and parents first – something that might sound obvious, but the truth is that for too long parents have been an afterthought in our education system.

However, a dynamic school system where all schools are academies is just one part of a much wider plan to improve our education system which I set out yesterday in our white paper.

It is every parent's right to know their child is in an excellent school no matter where in the country they live. I am confident that this move will guarantee a higher school standard with each academy held to account for the performance of their pupils.

Ultimately, I am committed to making it easier for you as a parent to play an even more active role in your child's education. In essence, I want to put young people and parents first – something that might sound obvious, but the truth is that for too long parents have been an afterthought in our education system. We want you as parents to have a much stronger voice in what happens to your child during their school years, because we know that you want the very best for your child.

So how are we doing that? Firstly, I am well aware that the education system can appear complex to many parents. I am dedicated to changing this once and for all, and putting the control firmly back in your hands. As a result of this, I plan to introduce a new, online Parents Portal from as early as next year. This portal will enable parents' access to key information and allow you to support your child's learning.

Alongside this, we have changed the curriculum and the way that students will be assessed. This will help to raise standards and make sure that your child leaves school with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. It is imperative that every child fulfils their potential, and this includes stretching the most able pupils.

More young people will also study the EBacc - a combination of maths, English, two sciences, a humanity and a language - up to the age of 16. And the exams and qualifications young people are awarded will set a new international gold standard that is respected by employers, helping them to succeed in our increasingly global world.

I am a firm believer that an exceptional education transforms children's futures and everything outlined in this White Paper is committed to ensuring that parents and pupils come first. Our goal must always be to ensure every single child leaves school with the best education and the opportunity to excel in adult life. I believe that together, we can achieve that goal.

By Nicky Morgan

Twitter: @NickyMorgan01

YetAnotherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 21-Mar-16 22:26:27

Evening all.
Thanks for reporting this thread. We can confirm that we are aware of the request and have passed it to the relevant people, however we hope you can understand that we are unlikely to have an answer for you this evening.

Fedup21 Mon 21-Mar-16 22:30:37

I think writing 'disgrace' on the bottom of this post is an excellent plan!

Valentine2 Mon 21-Mar-16 22:31:05


Thanks for the reply.

wanoff Mon 21-Mar-16 22:31:13

On the other hand.......just been listening to my daughter who in a few weeks will be taking 10 GCSEs at an academy. I've just found out that she's being tested on maths that I covered in junior school (local authority).
Nicky, you and your boffins need to sort out the curriculum.

Valentine2 Mon 21-Mar-16 22:34:41

<scurries off to research the homeschooling plan further>

JWIM Mon 21-Mar-16 22:38:26

NM on Newsnight now.

Mner Mon 21-Mar-16 22:48:17

I just caught that. Did they only ask re IDS?

CiaraBiara Mon 21-Mar-16 22:49:26

So we still have to pay taxes but you will remove the obligation of the state to provide education (and healthcare)? So the top priority is that someone can make money from it.

I also read that the companies taking over the school will be handed the deeds to the property so if they choose to sell the land we can't stop them? Is this true Nicky?

ravenAK Mon 21-Mar-16 22:49:46

Good grief dadsnet. You really haven't RTFT, have you?

& whilst I'm all for a good bitch at the 'bloody Tories', Labour certainly deserve a slap for wheeling this particular Trojan Horse into the education system.

But you should definitely defend this one if you can - prettybrightfireflies has actually done a stalwart & measured job, despite having no argument beyond 'well it's a done deal, & anyway, something should probably be done & here is something'.

You might be able to introduce a cogent defence of the government here?

We're all ears.

Shockingundercrackers Mon 21-Mar-16 22:50:08

So if the forced privatisation of an entire education system (a policy voted for by literally no one ever) isn't enough to send blood pressure sky high, I googled my local academy.

30% of pupils managed to get 5 GCSEs grades A-C last year. With my own grade a GCSE maths brain I worked out that 70% of the kids there got a resounding fuck all from their education.

Who's behind this abomination? SIR (well aren't' they all "sirs" these blokes that run academies, strange that) Rod Aldridge OBE. A quick google reveals that he's the disgraced former boss of Capita who resigned after giving the then-governing Labour party a secret £1 million pound bung in 2006.

If you read about this sort of corruption in a developing country you probably would think nothing of it. But this is happening here in England in 2016. Your local school will be next.

Goes without saying of course, petition signed.

Valentine2 Mon 21-Mar-16 22:51:47

That was embarrassing. I almost wish she does not agree for a web chat here now. The poor soul will commit suicide later on.

mamawhitaker Mon 21-Mar-16 22:53:53

No Nicky! I am a parent, a school governor, a trained teacher and now work as a teaching assistant. I would love to be in a class as a teacher. Although I don't know many mothers who can successively be both a full- time teacher and a parent without being incredibly stressed. This is a profession that does not create a work life balance. I don't know many teachers who work only 5 days a week. Most work 6 or 7 days a week until after 9 or 10pm each night. For what?? Constantly changing policies, ever increasing hoops to jump through. I'm sorry it's politicians who are destroying our education system.

If you truly want to change education, I suggest you work alongside a teacher for a week and get a realistic view of education. Keep politics out of education, have an independent education body. Take a leaf from Defence and have an Education Review every couple of years.

Why force something on to people who don't want it? If schools wanted to be academies they would have made that choice by now. Schools have purposefully chosen NOT to become academies because they do not feel it is right for their school. Why should my children's school become an academy, it has been inspected and found to be Outstanding, thank you very much. It is doing a fantastic job and everyone is happy. Academies might work in London but most people, believe it or not, don't live in London. I know- shock horror!!! (oops that is an incorrect use of an exclamation mark now).

Do not get me started on this years current mess with SATS. How well do 10 and 11 year olds really need to know and understand grammatical terms?? Talk about killing creativity. I have encountered tears from several children this week who are stressed and anxious about their tests they are young children for goodness sake. I'm sure this is really helping them carry on enjoying and being enthusiastic about education.

Government are putting children off learning from such a young age. My 4 year old started school a few weeks after his 4th birthday- he isn't ready for formal learning he just wants to play because that is what children do best. I have read so much research showing that a play based environment is essential for learning at this age, so why is it being ignored??

If you are trying to dissuade parents or anyone in the education sector from voting for you ever again- well done I think you had managed it, in one policy change. Voters do not forget things easily. Nick Clegg and tuition fees spring to mind.

You won't get my vote that's for sure.

curluponthesofa Mon 21-Mar-16 23:01:25

Nicky Morgan on Newsnight this evening - no mention of Academies at all. Why is this being ignored?

rollonthesummer Mon 21-Mar-16 23:02:52

Where are all these schools Nicky Morgan claims to visiting across the country every day? Has anyone on here ever known her visit one locally to them?

rollonthesummer Mon 21-Mar-16 23:03:18

Claims to 'be' visiting!

mamawhitaker Mon 21-Mar-16 23:05:16

Just wondering how parents will fairly apply for schools for their children if not through their local authority??

MumTryingHerBest Mon 21-Mar-16 23:09:47

rollonthesummer Mon 21-Mar-16 23:02:52 Where are all these schools Nicky Morgan claims to visiting across the country every day? Has anyone on here ever known her visit one locally to them?

It is rumoured that she visited a private school with her DS in mind. I wonder if this was in light of the wonderful improvements being proposed for state education.

Valentine2 Mon 21-Mar-16 23:09:47


Where are you? Here is another conspiracy theory for you: one reason the Ian Duncan Smith saga is being so actively discussed is because it is helping to keep the issue of privatising the state education under wraps.
How is that?

curluponthesofa Mon 21-Mar-16 23:11:15

I have tweeted Newsnight to ask why they didn't ask NM about Academies.

mamawhitaker Mon 21-Mar-16 23:13:52

Can't wait to hear the reply

Valentine2 Mon 21-Mar-16 23:15:04

<wonders whether Pretty indeed is Nicky Morgan>

Fedup21 Mon 21-Mar-16 23:16:00

Why the hell didn't newsnight mention academies- it's like there's a big cover up. Too much talking about IDS and not enough of academies. Let's hope the petitions and planned protests kick up enough of a stink for the Lords to sit up and take some notice. Maybe they won't pass the legislation? Otherwise it'll all be too late.

winewolfhowls Mon 21-Mar-16 23:16:15

Shame on you Nicky Morgan.

Valentine2 Mon 21-Mar-16 23:20:09

I think we should all have some sympathy for NM right now. Let's admit that she would have passed out on live tv. Give her a break

Mner Mon 21-Mar-16 23:23:28

A pointless interview from newsnight.

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