Coventry Council oppose forced academy conversions

Coventry Council have voted to opposed the forced conversion of Local Authority maintained schools to academies.


Michael Gove is trying to force Primary schools around the country to become academies by claiming that they are ‘underperforming’. Many are being told that they will be forced to become academies.


If this decision was repeated by councils across the country it would be far harder for Gove and the DfE to bully schools into leaving the Local Authority.


Key parts of the council document are below.


Click here to download the full document

Click here to read the press report



Council are requested to:

1. Adopt option 4 and oppose the forced conversion of Local Authority maintained

Schools to Academies.

2. Publish a statement to all Coventry School Governing Bodies and Headteachers

outlining the reasons for the City Council’s concerns about maintained schools

converting to Academy status and re-iterating the benefits of being part of the Local

Authority family of schools.

3. Continue to maintain strong and effective partnership working between the Local

Authority and schools that have converted to Academies and continue to promote

and facilitate structures that enable strong school to school collaboration. This will

support the City Council delivering its statutory responsibilities as an advocate and

champion for all children and young people across the City enable the Local

Authority to strategically plan and manage education provision and deliver the City’s

Educational Improvement Strategy.

4. Oppose the imposed conversion of any under-performing school to an Academy

and propose alternative structures, including formal governance arrangements

through hard and soft federations and stronger school to school collaborations,

including with the City’s Teaching School.

5. Request that the Governing Body of each Academy in Coventry has at least one

Local Authority Governor as part of the Governing Body’s membership and


6. Request that Governing Bodies of Academies formally sign up to the principles of

working in partnership with the Local Authority, including their commitment to the

agreed priorities of the Overcoming Barriers to Learning Strategy.

7. Request that the Assistant Director: Education and Learning or his representative

attend a meeting of every school Governing Body where Academy Conversion is

under discussion. The purpose of this is to present the reasons why the City

Council is not in favour of maintained schools changing their structural

arrangements and to outline the implications for the school and the City, particularly

regarding transfer of assets, finance and access to services. It will also set out any

impact on investment in capital programmes or any co-location proposals.


Option 4

Option 4: Oppose the forced conversion of LA maintained schools to Academies,

and encourage other maintained schools to remain part of the LA family of schools.

Oppose the establishment of University Technology Colleges and Free Schools in the


2.4.1 Coventry has a diverse school system, with academies, trust schools, faith schools,

single sex schools and LA maintained schools at secondary level. These schools

work collaboratively with the Local Authority and each other, and it is this

collaborative approach that has contributed to improved standards across the city at

secondary level.

2.4.2 Coventry has no primary schools that have changed their status. Primary schools

also work collaboratively with each other and the LA, and there are many examples

of this improving outcomes for children.

2.4.3 Coventry City Council believes this collaborative approach, along with our

Overcoming Barriers to Learning programme, which is the best way to improve

education for all young people within the City.

2.4.4 Coventry will seek to encourage all schools to remain with their current structural

arrangement, as we do not believe that structural changes in themselves will

improve educational outcomes.

2.4.5 Where school governing bodies agree to convert to Academy status, the LA will seek

to continue working with the school in a collaborative way.

2.4.6 Coventry City Council does not believe that there is currently a need for a new

secondary school in the city. The council is concerned that any new free school,

academy, or UTC could be damaging to other schools in the city, and Coventry

City Council will not actively pursue the creation of any free school, academy, or

UTC within the city.

2.4.7 If any free school, Academy or UTC is established in the City, the City Council will

seek to engage with the providers in order to minimise the detrimental effects on

other schools in the city and to encourage collaboration with existing schools and the

LA, and to encourage that school to work in a positive and constructive way with other schools in the city.


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3 Responses to Coventry Council oppose forced academy conversions

  1. Janet says:

    Sorry – DFE of course

  2. Janet says:

    Yes. How refreshing to see a council actually sticking up for the schools it’s been elected to represent, rather than cow-towing to CFE.

  3. sarah dodds says:

    I might have to move to Coventry….!

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