Sam Clayden 16 March 2016

Budget 2016: All schools to be converted into academies

Budget 2016: All schools to be converted into academies image

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.’

It’s now or never for modern democracy image

It’s now or never for modern democracy

The electoral landscape is now ‘more crowded than ever’, while council resources have been ground down, says Laura Lock – and she warns that professionals do not have limitless capacity.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£30,451 - £34,728 per annum
We are looking for a Social Worker for a fixed-term 12 month contract to cover maternity. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Governance Officer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£22,627 to £24,491
For further information on the role please click. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Team Manager Family Connect

Telford & Wrekin Council
£45.859 to £48.841 per annum
We're looking for an enthusiastic, highly motivated and experienced Team Manager with substantial experience.  Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Experienced Children's Senior Social Worker - Assessment /Family Safeguarding

Telford & Wrekin Council
£38,890 - £41,881 per annum
As one of our Senior Social Workers we will support you to develop your skills and knowledge when working with families using a restorative approach. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Senior Social Worker

Telford & Wrekin Council
£38,890 - £41,881 per annum
This is an exciting time for Telford and Wrekin’s Children’s Social Care as we move forward on our Transformation Journey.   Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue