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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

biddy53 Mon 21-Mar-16 23:24:23

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

I think her performance on Newsnight proves she has no concerns about talking uninformed bollocks.

Valentine2 Mon 21-Mar-16 23:32:10

I am not sure why Tories keep fielding her though?

curluponthesofa Mon 21-Mar-16 23:36:17

Article about it on The Independent website. There is a little poll you can click on Yes or No.

But apart from online articles, the press seem to be ignoring it... Hopefully the march will stir up some coverage.

noblegiraffe Mon 21-Mar-16 23:38:02

Gove, at least, would have owned this and called us all enemies of promise or the blob or something. Not avoided the issue and talked about other stuff.

MsDinosaur Mon 21-Mar-16 23:42:02

Why on earth didn't newsnight discuss academies?!

BridgetChapman Mon 21-Mar-16 23:48:08

Thank you very much smile

antiqueroadhoe Tue 22-Mar-16 06:24:59

Forcing people into homeschooling their kids in order to avoid all the utter shit is surely part of their plan.

Think of the savings!

antiqueroadhoe Tue 22-Mar-16 06:28:01

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Eelus Tue 22-Mar-16 06:33:25

Sorry, can't link properly on my phone, but the Guardian have picked up on this thread.
I genuinely can't believe there is not more media coverage about this.

Eelus Tue 22-Mar-16 06:34:43

Oh, I can link properly!

Devilishpyjamas Tue 22-Mar-16 06:39:20

Dadsnet - are you happy with Nicky's dodgy use of statistics (again) then? Maybe you can explain how her but about converter academies isn't utterly deceitful?

JWIM Tue 22-Mar-16 06:43:49

Is there any independent organisation in the Education Field akin to the Institute of Fiscal studies that could produce a review of the White Paper. The IFS reviews the Budget 'Red Book' and identifies the inaccuracies/wrinkles etc. It was their graphic that Newsnight used to challenge NM on the welfare cuts and effect on the poorest 10% in society.

A similar review on the White Paper would dig in to the statements, what little data there is, the real cost etc.

I am hoping that once the hoohaa over the Budget dies down media focus will move to the White Paper.

Eelus Tue 22-Mar-16 06:51:31

This is the DFEs response to this thread in the Guardian.

“Every parent deserves to know their child is getting an excellent education, and they rightly want information about what these changes mean for them. We are determined to make sure every child has access to the best opportunities and to help them grow into well-rounded adults.

“Too many children are not getting the education they deserve and for too long parents have been an afterthought in our education system. Pupils are already benefiting hugely from the academies programme and thanks to our reforms more of them than ever before are going to good or outstanding schools.”

Thanks for responding DFE.
You are right DFE, as a parent I do want the information about what these changes mean for me. So please now give us that information with genuine statistics that back up what you are saying.

antiqueroadhoe Tue 22-Mar-16 06:58:05

The only people who benefit are the executive heads on monumental salaries; the spin doctors and the government saving money. Everyone else loses out.

Feenie Tue 22-Mar-16 07:04:34

Actually, it's news before it's happened:

HazyMazy Tue 22-Mar-16 07:10:40

I am not sure why Tories keep fielding her though?

AS they don't care if they lose her.

Remember the bedroom tax?
She lost her seat - surprise, surprise!

WhittonMum1 Tue 22-Mar-16 07:24:25

I think giving parents a voice in a Parent Portal could backfire.

I imagine the parents of children at the local failing academy could have a lot to say on such a Parent Portal. I doubt the Secretary of State will listen or respond to those Parent Portals.

They could be 'given a voice' and direct comments to the govenors, head, teachers, other pupils or even other parents at that school which isn't going to help the situation much.

It is definitely worth a think of how that will be managed.

CrowyMcCrowFace Tue 22-Mar-16 08:12:46

enters wearing false moustache, glasses & namechange after entire chuffing FB friend list spotted me on the Grauniad.

IME Parent Portals are very much ignored - I'm embarrassed to say I've got two log ins at my school, as a teacher & as a parent, yet I never think to log out as teacher & in again as a parent! The only parents who ever seem to use it are the ones who then gloatingly complain if an English teacher makes a typo...

Certainly not a substitute for parent voice via the governors. In fact, I've no idea how you could use it for parents to be heard - every VLE I know has all chat/discussion functions firmly turned off to avoid bunfights (& the school subsequently being in the Daily Mail).

BlueEyeshadow Tue 22-Mar-16 08:16:09

One of the problems encountered by many LA's in the past has been a lack of people experienced and able be appointed onto an Interim Executive Board. A lot of schools I know would have benefited from an IEB but the LA were unable to use their powers because they just didn't have the people to do the (unpaid) job.

The fact that you say it's happened to many schools suggests that the position has changed and that they are being used by LA's to resolve the problem of underperforming LA schools in their area.*

In the situation I know most about, the IEB chair was paid an incredible sum in expenses, and he chaired quite a few of the others too.

The IEB severely hampered the running of the school, and in at least one instance gave such bad advice that it caused the school serious difficulties later on.

A lot of the school's problems were made worse by the LA, but becoming an academy hasn't magicked them away. The school was actually doing a great job in very challenging circumstances, and had its own plan for improvement approved by all the relevant authorities, but that wasn't becoming an academy, so the DfE stepped in, regardless of local issues.

And they say they want to empower schools and free them from bureaucracy. It makes me sick.

BlueEyeshadow Tue 22-Mar-16 08:19:29

Bold fail in the post above. First two paras are what Pretty said. Rest is my response.

noblegiraffe Tue 22-Mar-16 08:32:38

There's no indication of what info a parent portal would provide beyond what is already given. The DfE website has extensive breakdowns of exam results, staffing, FSM, EAL, SEN etc per school on its website. Then you've got Ofsted reports. What exactly do parents need to know?

Hilsofthenorthwales Tue 22-Mar-16 08:32:53

The skill base from which tinkerers in education work if solid.

They used to go to school.

Can't comment on what type of school.

CrowyMcCrowFace Tue 22-Mar-16 08:45:39

I dunno noble - I got the impression it was supposed to have something to do with giving parents a 'stronger voice', but looking again it's just about giving them info (as you say - already in the public domain), & helping them to support their children's learning - so, erm, a VLE.

I have no idea what Nicky is talking about, but that's OK; neither does she, evidently.

CrowyMcCrowFace Tue 22-Mar-16 08:47:30

This just came up on FB - apologies if already posted...

forkhandles4candles Tue 22-Mar-16 09:09:28

This must not be allowed to disappear between IDS and terror attacks and general press ignoring.

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