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.”
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.
Read more at: https://www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/news/hastings-teachers-take-strike-action-1-8499371
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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
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