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School leaders survey: leadership priorities at odds with policy?

20 November 2015

Despite the stepping up of political pressure around academisation since the election, fewer than one in ten leaders view joining a formal school group or creating or expanding a school group as a major priority this year. By contrast, around 90% of school leaders indicate that managing a reduced or stagnant budget or implementing curriculum changes are key priorities.

It is not certain whether this is a conscious rejection of the Government’s policy or simply that financial challenges and curriculum changes are seen as more immediately pressing. Some schools have been discussing academisation and collaboration now for many years and for some the issue has become stagnant.

What is clear is that the Government is determined to push through its agenda, with a particular focus on driving school improvement in failing and coasting schools through multi academy trusts. Schools that do not prioritise exploring formal group options could find themselves forced into groups or left behind as others form into formal alliances.

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