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future for primary schools facing forced move to academy status

5 July 2012

The chair of the Somerset Association of Primary Head teachers has raised concerns about plans to force failing primary schools to convert to academy status.  The county has seven schools assessed as failing. Many smaller schools nationally are concerned about the additional responsibilities they would be taking on especially when they currently obtain their support services through the local authority.

It is important for primary schools to consider all available options and for smaller schools converting as part of a group may be the most beneficial way to proceed. Schools can convert as part of formalised multi academy trusts or may come together in looser collaborative arrangements. Primary schools deemed failing should consider actively seeking a suitably approved DfE sponsor, of which there are now nearly 250.

Converting as part of a group provides primary schools with commensurate benefits in purchasing services and sharing resources to achieve economies of scale. Primary schools should take the opportunity to collaborate to focus on improving school standards.

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