Sam Clayden 31 March 2016

Academisation hinders chancellor's Northern Powerhouse plans, says councillor

The chancellor’s forced academisation plans could hinder his own vision of a Northern Powerhouse, Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for education tells The MJ.

Liverpool has confirmed it has been in discussions with education partners to explore whether one or more of them could create a locally-based ‘sponsored academy trust’.    

The partnership would not be established, led or managed by the local authority because this would not be allowed by the Department for Education.

Liverpool's cabinet member for education, skills and employment, Nick Small, told The MJ he wanted to come up with a model that built on local collaborations, partnerships and knowledge. 

He claimed academy chains that had previously come into the city had not been successful because they did not know enough about Liverpool's issues.

He maintained that skills and schools were ‘interlinking’ and that locally-based education and skills provision was vital to ensure a ‘seamless transition from schools, colleges, universities and the world of work’. 

As part of the Liverpool city region devolution deal, the combined authority has been given responsibility over skills, but Cllr Small claimed removing local government from education threatened Mr Osborne’s plans for a Northern Powerhouse. 

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