No proof forced academisation worth it, DfE admits

The Department for Education’s top official has admitted that it is impossible to prove that forcing schools to become academies offers better value for taxpayers’ money than leaving them with local authorities.

Permanent secretary Jonathan Slater was pressed repeatedly by MPs this morning on the evidence behind his department’s academies policy.

Although the government recently softened its policy on forcing schools to become academies, schools that fail their Ofsted inspections can still be required to convert.

At a Commons Public Accounts Committee meeting today, Labour MP Gareth Snell asked Mr Slater: “Is there any evidence that rescuing under-performing schools via forced academisation provides better value for money than a rescue package for them inside the local authority?”

He added: “We could have a situation where we’re spending vast sums of money to transfer schools over to academy systems without really getting any additional educational output from those schools.”


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Hastings teachers take strike action

Teachers at a Hastings school are expected to begin a two-day strike action today (Wednesday, May 16) due to a dispute over working practices. According to ARK Helenswood Academy, members of the NASUWT teachers union are taking strike action today and tomorrow (Thursday, May 17), leading to the closure of most of the school. The union is understood to in a dispute with school leaders over working practices, workload and the “withholding of pay entitlements for teachers at the bottom of the main pay scale” at the Ark Academy Trust school.

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Statement on GDPR

The Anti Academies Alliance (AAA) is committed to protecting your privacy.

The AAA is confident that we have complied with the new GDPR regulations. We do not keep a database of historical contacts. We use a Google email platform which automatically saves mail & contact details. However, we have deleted all sent and received emails pre-dating July 2017.

We maintain a list of current members of our National Steering Committee with their email addresses and others with whom we correspond with who are involved in current campaigns. We have deleted all other email addresses. We do not pass on your details to any other organisations or individuals without your consent.

If you affiliate to the AAA, again, we do not pass on any information about you to any other organisations or individuals.

If you have any concerns or questions about the AAA and the GDPR, please contact us and we will respond promptly.

We will be reviewing our constitution and procedures at our AGM in Sept 2018. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please let us know.

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‘savage’ cuts at UCAT academy trust

Damian Hinds will meet MPs to discuss the “savage cuts” proposed by a prominent university-backed academy chain.

The University of Chester Academies Trust today confirmed that it is considering cutting 24 support staff and 19 teaching roles across its seven schools in Cheshire and Staffordshire.

The trust is also in discussions with the Department for Education about the potential rebrokering of some of its schools to new sponsors.

Full story here

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Was this the week the academies dream began to die?

Was this the week that the academies dream died?

Between Damian Hinds’ accountability announcements 10 days ago at NAHT conference and then Friday’s DfE response to the Green Paper consultation on faith and grammar schools, I’m beginning to think so.

Why? Well it’s been a very significant few days of education policy.

Full article here

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