My fear is that we are going to be getting a lot more academies after this spending review.
The net effect of the pupil premium--going to disadvantaged children (a good thing, no doubt)--and the withdrawal of funds from the Specialist Schools pot will have the effect of catapulting those 'outstanding' schools in leafy areas into seriously considering academy status. The fact is they won't be receiving a penny from the pupil premium and for those with three specialisms, they will be losing around £400,000 p.a. That is going to make the money calculable on the DfE ready reckoner and recoverable from the LA look mighty attractive, particularly in uncertain financial times.
I think a lot of these schools were holding off before the spending review and greater detail emerged on the Academies Bill. But now, with teachers' jobs on the line, it is going to be difficult for many to resist.
Once many more start to go, things are going to look very different.
I think one strand we have to begin to develop in campaigning for good local schools is that if your local school happens to be an academy, it should still have some level of local oversight and accountability to stakeholders. We should not be letting those academies that exist and the new wave of new academies get away with their undemocratic, unaccountable ways.
We need to be challenging, in particular, the governance model and how the Academy Trust reports to its local community.
There is a lot of work to be done on academies, we cannot limit ourselves to just campaigning against them being set up or converting, when Gove is so hell bent on creating more and more of them.