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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

(999 comments )

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

Duckdeamon Fri 18-Mar-16 20:15:43

Where is the evidence that schools being owned and managed in this way improves academic and social outcomes for pupils, parent and staff satisfaction?

How will ECHPs work?

Anyway, "Academisation" is not a proper word.bFollow your own gov.uk plain English guidelines!

woody2976 Fri 18-Mar-16 20:17:16

petition signed. this government make me despair.

ravenAK Fri 18-Mar-16 20:17:36

Nicky,

I am an experienced teacher of a core subject.

I have moved overseas with my three children.

You have put us in a position where emigration is a far superior option for my family than working or learning in the UK education system.

I get that on a human level you are probably an ok person who has inherited a shit portfolio from a toxic predecessor who is still interfering - I'm a teacher. I can totes empathize with that one! - but the above is just embarrassing.

Address the problems or tell us to fuck off (& overwhelmingly we are).

GingerIvy Fri 18-Mar-16 20:20:30

petition.parliament.uk/petitions/124702

JWIM Fri 18-Mar-16 20:22:24

And petition signed.

kawolski Fri 18-Mar-16 20:25:49

Signed the petition.

This is so very wrong. You should be ashamed for ruining our children's education like this.

My DS has just started going through diagnosis for ASD. Where does this leave children like him? What academy would want him when all that matters is results and not individual pupils?

prettybird Fri 18-Mar-16 20:27:50

It might not have got pulled - but it was quickly taken off being a "sticky" thread hmm

Using the app makes it impossible to search for threads.

kawolski Fri 18-Mar-16 20:30:20

Also I'm confused perhaps someone here knows?

At the moment the LEA has to offer every child a place in a school. How on earth will that work if they have no involvement?

ElementaryMyDear Fri 18-Mar-16 20:37:01

hat 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

In my child's maintained primary school, 71% of pupils achieving the expected levels would be regarded as a disastrous fall in standards, and I suspect would have Ofsted marking it as failing. The actual percentage there is over 90%. So why on earth do you suggest that making that school into an academy would improve my child's education?

JWIM Fri 18-Mar-16 20:37:50

The White Paper says that LAs will still be required to manage admissions and independent appeals - but how is not specified yet.

Special Schools - White Paper acknowledges that the straight forced academisation may not work - some thinking still to do on this.

They are still thinking too about LA safeguarding/children's services roles.

I'm still reading.

PrettyBrightFireflies Fri 18-Mar-16 20:38:03

At the moment the LEA has to offer every child a place in a school. How on earth will that work if they have no involvement?

Academy places are currently considered by the LA when planning for capacity in their area - why would that change?

Academies have to declare how many places they offer each year - that won't change.

CheckpointCharlie2 Fri 18-Mar-16 20:38:12

Signed.
I read the White Paper this morning and nowhere did it actually mention how the govt are going to address workload, it was just utter endless bollocks that had nothing to do with actual workload. I started copying and pasting the most bollocky bits into an email to send to someone, don't know who, and say that's why I resigned this week but then I couldn't be fucked as it won't make any difference.

I am increasingly gutted to be leaving but equally relieved that I won't have to work 70 hours a week for naff all and not spend any time with my own children. As I type I have 30 piles of books and sheets of writing to be assessed in my kitchen which will take me all weekend. sad

I wish we could stop this somehow.

TwoLeftSocks Fri 18-Mar-16 20:40:26

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

flippinada Fri 18-Mar-16 20:41:52

I could almost feel sorry for Nicky Morgan. I said almost. I'm delighted to how this thread has turned out and am only sorry that I can't sign the petition linked above - I've already signed it (and so have most of my friends).

I can guarantee you that she didn't write a single word of the original post. My guess is it's been written by a civil servant but who knows.

ElementaryMyDear Fri 18-Mar-16 20:42:38

Academies notoriously have a very poor record with children with learning difficulties. The exclusion rate is appalling. I have seen no information whatsoever about these proposals which indicates that there will be any safeguard against children with SN being ghettoised, and of course you have, yet again, completely ignored that issue. Given your government's dreadful record on disability, none of this surprises me; but you should be absolutely ashamed of yourself for your part in all this.

FranHastings Fri 18-Mar-16 20:42:59

None of this is reassuring, Nicky Morgan. Your government has made me terrified about the future of education for my children. Academisation is an absolute disgrace of a decision. You should be ashamed of your entire party. Every time I think this government can't get worse, they do. Petition signed.

EthelDurant123 Fri 18-Mar-16 20:45:15

There are so many issues I have with state education, such as not making PSHE compulsory, the huge increase in free schools (and many are failing ) and the baffling way maths is taught these days, teaching to test, making collective worship compulsory and Christian in character (though many schools ignore this nowadays) and now this shit. I wish I could stop my child from enduring it but we have no choice in the matter.

Petition signed.

ElementaryMyDear Fri 18-Mar-16 20:46:44

Currently LAs manage admission appeals with the aid of volunteer panel members who are, in the main, governors of schools in the area. Without a standard governance model, the chances of their finding volunteer panel members with knowledge of education in the local area will severely diminish.

In any event, it is irrational to expect LAs to deal with admissions when they have no control over local schools and cannot, for instance, force academies to put in bulge classes when needed, and when they will no longer have the education department infrastructure that they have now. And why should council taxpayers pick up the tab for organising admissions to independent schools anyway?

DraenorQueen Fri 18-Mar-16 20:48:56

Nicky,

Everything about your post is deceitful, divisive, patronising and misleading.
Please feel free to come and visit my school - we're doing a fabulous job with our 90% EAL and 70% FSM children. We instill a sense of self-worth and aspiration in our them. We teach them that although we want them to succeed in school, we're most proud when we see them acting like honest, kind, hard-working genuine people.

My Roma Gypsy children speak 2 languages and are fluent in neither. Do you have to see their faces when they've yet again given everything in a comprehension assessment but scored 6/50? No you do not. My Afghans speak 3 or 4 langauges and have to alternate between these as situation requires. That's some skill! But many of them won't reach your "secondary ready" standard this year.
Many of my sparky, clever, talented children will leave my school as "failures" in your eyes. I can already map out some of their futures.

We were one of many schools in my city that received a "you are fucked" letter from OFSTED this year. How dare you?! Please, come in and show us exactly how to get 'Ratislav' - with almost no English - to an "acceptable" standard of writing. Show me how to get 'Greta' - a traumatised, 11 year old mute rape victim - to a satisfactory standard of maths.

I am more than aware that my school's standards don't reflect most schools in the UK. But we are held to exactly the same standard as the leafy suburbian schools. We all know it's impossible for us to get the results you want from us - please just leave us alone to get on and TEACH these poor bloody kids!

GColdtimer Fri 18-Mar-16 20:49:01

You are kidding me. Has MN once again allowed an MP to come on and spout their propaganda without coming back to answer any questions? Thought they would have learnt their lesson after the JD debacle.

PrettyBrightFireflies Fri 18-Mar-16 20:50:12

Without a standard governance model, the chances of their finding volunteer panel members with knowledge of education in the local area will severely diminish.

I think it might increase, in reality. Many of the services currently delivered by the LAs, in terms of training and advice, will move into the private and third sector - probably delivered by the same people.

It is those people that the LA will call on; just as the NHS and other statutory bodies engage 'lay' people now - on safeguarding boards and such like.

Natsku Fri 18-Mar-16 20:54:48

Signed the petition. Doesn't affect me as I no longer live in the UK but got to stand up for the rights of brothers' children to have a decent education. This whole idea is absolutely horrifying.

CobblerBob Fri 18-Mar-16 20:57:02

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

agnes89 Fri 18-Mar-16 20:58:45

Signed.
Dear Nicky Morgan,
you must have studied Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four diligently: you speak Ministry of Truth language with native proficiency. Congratulations. Superstar.

ravenAK Fri 18-Mar-16 21:02:12

Ah yes here we go again flies - you assume that the people doing LA stuff will continue to be paid to do it on a consultancy basis by academies.

Not my experience tbh.

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