Dan Peters 26 September 2016

Councils facing £320m bill for academisation plan

The government’s plan to covert school into academies could cost councils as much as £320m, new figures have revealed.

The Local Government Association (LGA) warned that schools converting to sponsored academies could leave councils with a £320m bill as any debt built up by the school generally remains with the council.

This cost would be £120m if schools decided to operate as a stand-alone organisation.

The LGA also said councils could also lose an additional £80m a year since academies receive 80% business rates relief.

Chair of the LGA’s children and young people board, Cllr Richard Watts, said: ‘If all schools are encouraged to become academies at some point, this will have significant financial implications for councils.

‘We have remained strong in our opposition to all forced academisation, and this opposition has been echoed by MPs, teachers and parents.

‘Our recent analysis of the grades achieved by all schools under the more rigorous Ofsted inspection framework proved that 81% of council-maintained schools are rated as good or outstanding, compared to 73% of academies and 79% of free schools.’

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