William Eichler 30 January 2024

Divided education system ‘unsustainable’, think tank warns

Divided education system ‘unsustainable’, think tank warns image
Image: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com.

An education system divided between academies and council-maintained schools has become ‘undesirable and unsustainable’, according to an education think tank.

A new report from EDSK says that operating two parallel systems with different approaches to funding, curricula, governance, admissions, and oversight has created a ‘fragmented and confusing’ school system.

Entitled 20 Years of Muddling Through, the report also argues that having two separate school systems is ‘inherently wasteful’ and makes it harder to ensure public funds are benefitting pupils.

EDSK argues for a more ‘coherent, collaborative and transparent’ approach to state schooling in England.

The think tank recommends that local authorities be put in charge of a coherent admissions system for all state schools, and should act as ‘champion’ for all children and young people in their local area.

Commenting on the report, Cllr Louise Gittins, chair of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Children and Young People's Board, said: ‘Evidence shows that many council-maintained schools have an excellent performance record, which is why it is vital councils are given a central role in providing education. This includes giving councils the powers and resources to meet their remaining statuary duties in regards to education.’

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