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More academies after the Election?

4 February 2015

What are the main political parties’ intentions for the academies programme? The Conservatives were the first to show their hand this week when David Cameron announced an expansion of the forced academies programme.

Schools in the ‘requires improvement’ Ofsted category will face being taken over by new leadership including academy sponsors unless they can prove they have a clear plan for improvement. The Regional Schools Commissioners will judge whether the plans for improvement are acceptable, in itself an expansion of the RSCs’ remit beyond the performance of academies and free schools and into maintained schools.

Currently only schools rated as ‘inadequate’ would generally face such imposed change. The proposal will potentially put a further 3500 schools at risk.

The PM stated that the Conservatives are waging a ‘war on mediocrity’ but it is noteworthy that the category of ‘requires improvement’ was, until relatively recently termed ‘satisfactory’. We wait to hear whether the other political parties are willing to share their views on the future of schools and the academies landscape.

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