All failing schools will become academies

3 June 2015 The Education and Adoption Bill will see up to 1,000 schools in England turned into academies, regardless of popular opinion.

4 Jun 2015| News

3 June 2015

The Education and Adoption Bill will see up to 1,000 schools in England turned into academies, regardless of popular opinion.

It will scrap the requirement for academy sponsors to consult locally on whether they should take over schools.

While the move is being justified by an ostensible desire to improve standards, 46 percent of academies themselves have been classified as “requires improvement” or “inadequate” by Ofstead.

Academies are independently-run state-funding schools – back door privatisation with the taxpayer footing the bill. Although the “academy trusts” that run the schools are not permitted to make a profit from the schools, contracts for goods and services to private companies are often given selectively.

Academies do not have to abide by the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD), or other nationally negotiated collective agreements. The creeping transformation of our schools into academies is indented not only to overturn the education system, but also to weaken workers’ rights within the sector.

There are instances of Academy chains advertising for unqualified teachers on a salary of just £16,300, and of management trying to force staff onto zero hours contracts.

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said;

The Coalition Government railroaded through its Academies Act with the minimum of consultation, and regularly used force and coercion to push schools towards academisation. This Bill promises more of the same but with an additional intention to silence critics, including parents and teachers as well as elected local councillors and the communities which schools serve.”

“A pledge to convert ‘up to 1,000’ schools is as irrational as it is impractical. Head teachers are already in short supply, so the promise to sack more of them will simply exacerbate the problem. Where does Nicky Morgan imagine that new teachers and heads will come from?

“The Government justifies this extended and accelerated privatisation of our school system by claiming that it cares about standards. Yet there is now a mountain of evidence which shows that there is no academy effect on standards in schools. Indeed, research by the Sutton Trust concluded that the very poor results of some chains – both for pupils generally and for the disadvantaged pupils they were particularly envisaged to support – comprised ‘a clear and urgent problem’.

“The public will see these proposals for what they really are: a crude attack on state comprehensive education and a further step towards full school privatisation.”