At this rate it would take 140 years for every school to become an academy

Fiona Millar's picture
 1
Interesting blog here from the Local Government Information Unit looking at the facts, rather than the spin, around academy conversions. The author John Fowler estimates that at the rate conversions are taking place, it would take 140 years for every school to change status. The reason for this appears to be the length of time it takes for the schools and the Department for Education to settle the final stage - the Academy Agreements. These  used to be known as the funding agreements and incorporate vital issues about land, funding, admissions, teachers pay and conditions.  This was always going to be more complex than Michael Gove anticipated as governing bodies, and other members of school communities, want more information and consultation about how the new schools will operate.

As one of the comments of the piece points out  - either the new academies will be so successful that everyone will want to convert, in which case the civil servants will have to find a way to speed up the process, or academy status will turn out to make not much difference and the whole ' movement' will fizzle out.

My guess is that the bribes that are clearly being offered by the DfE at the moment will dry up. Some local authorities have established already that the sums being offered to schools to opt out far outweigh the amount that should be recouped from the local authority. Then the allure of academy status will fade, apart from in Tory authorities where councillors are pushing hard for all their schools to become independent. Interesting that the government is only promising the current extra funding for a year.
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Comments

Francis Gilbert's picture
Wed, 08/12/2010 - 18:01

I think that schools are being led down the garden path on this matter. Short term gain, long term pain in my view; clearly once they've taken the extra cash this year for Academy status, they'll find themselves isolated in future years.

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