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Coventry v academies... round 2

18 October 2012

Some weeks ago, Coventry City Council took legal action against the Department for Education’s (DfE’s) plan to force academy status on a local primary school.

It now has emerged that the council has stepped back from creating two new schools to meet rising numbers because the council did not want the new schools to be academies – which is the presumed route for all new schools in England under the Education Act 2011.

Whilst there are other ways to meet rising pupil numbers such as expanding existing provision or academies opening free schools, this issue highlights the problem of a local authority having a legal duty to ensure sufficient places where a growing number of schools are independent of local authority control. As rising numbers will impact on a number of authority areas, this is a problem that cannot be ducked and it is hoped that all stakeholders in the education sector can find a suitable way forward to meet increased demand.

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