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Academy freedoms for all?

18 June 2013

Stephen Twigg has set out the blueprint behind Labour’s education policy if they win the next general election.

The shadow education secretary stated that the following principals would support a policy concentrating on “standards not structures”:-

  • Maintained schools would be given some of the freedoms enjoyed by academies, including those relating to finances, the national curriculum and the length of the school day;
  • School admissions would be overhauled to address areas of inequality;
  • No new free schools would be opened;
  • More emphasis would be placed on collaboration as a driver of school improvement, using the London Challenge as the model
Without any detail behind the policies, it is too early to judge what impact these changes will have on the current system. However, research shows that an increase of autonomy is a big incentive for governing bodies looking to convert to academy status, so it would be interesting to see what impact the proposed changes would have on the academy programme.

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