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a new approach required for academy school improvement

28 May 2012

Two academies in Basildon have been put into special measures following an Ofsted inspection. Essex County Council commented that they were aware of the issues with the schools but as both schools were academies they had limited powers to intervene.

Despite academies autonomous status, many local authorities still believe that they have a duty to ensure the best possible education for children in their area. Where they have concerns they are advised to refer the issue to the Secretary of State.

For many academies, Ofsted is the only realistic method of judging where intervention is needed. There is call for a “middle tier” between schools and central government to ensure that all schools are monitored at a local level. It remains to be seen what form this middle tier will take but the government need to act quickly to ensure children’s education is not put at risk where poorly performing academy schools are left unsupported at a local level.

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