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Academies double under coalition

7 January 2011

More than one in ten secondary schools in England is now an academy, double the number under the previous government.

Over 200 schools have converted to academy status since the Academies Act 2010 came into force, allowing schools to acquire academy status, outside of local authority control, with a view to increasing standards. A further 254 schools have applied for academy status. Michael Gove called this the “fastest rate of education reform in English history”.

However, academies still cause controversy, with teachers unions believing the system would open up schools to profit-seeking firms, and that schools are being motivated by extra funding when schools are facing severe cuts.

It is hard to tell exactly what schools’ motivation for converting is – perhaps the lure of extra funding, the fear of being left behind, or perhaps simply because they want more freedom. Only time will tell whether or not those motivations will prove well-founded, but it is clear that academies represent a revolution in the education sector.

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