Sam Clayden 16 March 2016

Budget 2016: All schools to be converted into academies

Fixating on giving schools independence will not generate improvement in education standards, local government representatives have warned.

In his Budget speech today, chancellor George Osborne laid out plans to convert every primary and secondary school in the country into academies by 2020.

He said: ‘We are going to complete the task of setting schools free from local education bureaucracy, and we’re going to do it in this Parliament.’

But the Local Government Association (LGA) has opposed the plans, saying there was no evidence schools performed better in the hands of academies.

Chair of the LGA’s children and young people board Cllr Roy Perry claimed only 15% of academy chains perform above the national average compared to to 44% of councils, the LGA claimed.

Cllr Perry said it ‘defied reason’ that councils were being portrayed as 'barriers to improvement'.

He said: ‘With mixed evidence about academisation improving standards and when public spending is facing significant cuts imposing academisation on schools regardless of local opinion cannot be an appropriate use of public money.’

Association of Directors of Children’s Service (ADCS) vice president Dave Hill has warned that turning schools into academies could be counterproductive, ‘adding further confusion to an increasingly disjointed school system leaving our most challenging pupils at risk of slipping through the cracks’.

Associate director for public services at Institute for Public Policy Research Jonathan Clifton said: ‘The government is arguing that England’s schools need more autonomy in order to match the best in the world.

‘But England already has the third most autonomous school system in the world, while it lags in 23rd place on pupil performance.

‘Fixating on giving schools independence is unlikely to generate any improvement in education standards”.

The chancellor also announced plans to focus on the performance of schools in the north, where results had ‘not been as strong as we’d like’.

He said: ‘London’s school system has been turned around and we can do the same in the Northern Powerhouse.

‘I’ve asked outstanding Bradford head teacher Sir Nick Weller to provide us with a plan.’

Regenerating public realm for climate change image

Regenerating public realm for climate change

The regeneration of White Hart Lane in Tottenham, London has shown has permeable paving and street trees should can help address climate change while delivering SuDS. Chris Hodson reports.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker (Safeguarding)

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£30,984 - £35,336
The safeguarding team have an excellent opportunity for an experienced qualified Social Worker. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Housing Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£32,427
We currently have an opportunity for a Housing Officer. Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

OD Lead – Employee Experience and ED&I

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£36,853 to £47,784
At Richmond and Wandsworth Councils, we are serious about tackling inequalities. Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Integrated Service Manager

Lancashire County Council
£43,857-£47,847
An exciting opportunity has arisen in Children and Family Wellbeing Service for the appointment of a Permanent Integrated Service Manager. Accrington, Lancashire
Recuriter: Lancashire County Council

Care Assistant - Westminster Homecare

Essex County Council
Up to £23088 per annum
Care Assistant - Westminster HomecarePermanent, Full Time£12.00Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.