Budget 2016: reactions to academies announcement.

‘Yet again the government has decided to pursue a red herring in the name of improving education. It thinks that by “forcing” every school to become an academy all will be wonderful, while completely failing to notice that teacher morale is at an all time low and teacher recruitment is in crisis. 

There is no real evidence to show that turning a school into an academy will automatically raise standards. Academies have only been in existence since 2002. I have been teaching in the maintained sector for 25 years and, sadly, all I have seen is smoke and mirrors. As long as we have an apartheid education system based on class and wealth, we will never make real progress.’ Teacher, Vanessa Casey in Independent

‘The case in favour is that it puts power to make decisions in the hands of head teachers - or rather the chief executives who now run chains of publicly-funded schools across England. 

There is more leeway for innovation, but for the moment that's been modest. Most still broadly follow the national curriculum. 

Schools are judged on highly centralised performance measures, such as pass rates in the core traditional subjects in the new English baccalaureate (a good GCSE in English, a language, maths, science and history or geography).

The wriggle room for risk-taking and innovation is limited when head teachers are also looking over their shoulders at league tables and the next Ofsted inspection.

None of this means interesting variety and innovation won't happen in the long term. There will be more schools that educate children from the age of 5 to 18 for example. That could increase the incentive at every stage to focus on children at every level of ability, rather than those who can be most easily helped over the hurdle of getting five good GCSEs.’ - BBC

‘It’s telling that the academisation of every primary and secondary school is seen as a budgetary matter as opposed to educational. However, there is no mention of admissions, attendance, special needs, looked-after children, pupil referral services and land ownership? Presumably these issues will remain in the hands of local authority “bureaucrats”. – letter in Guardian

 

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