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Consultation on becoming an academy – better to be safe than sorry?

11 June 2010

‘Outstanding’ schools who want to become academies may no longer need to consult with the local authority, parents and other stakeholders.  The new Academies Bill does would not require schools to consult on becoming an academy. However, schools would still have the option to consult if they wished to do so.

The government appears to hope that removing the requirement to consult will help successful schools to become academies quickly, even by as soon as this September.  However, schools which do not consult could run the risk of legal challenges by the local authority or parents who may argue successfully that they had a ‘legitimate expectation’ that the school would seek their views.  Despite the duty to consult apparently being lifted, it remains to be seen whether governing bodies will decide that it is safer to consult stakeholders in order to avoid potential delays to becoming an academy as a result of long drawn-out and costly legal challenges.

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Mark Blois

Mark Blois

Partner and Head of Education

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