Such is the concern about the absence of any proper evaluation of the implications of wholesale academisation of our education system that a Commission
has been established to do just that
'The commission will examine the model and incipient outcomes of academisation from a school improvement perspective, focusing on issues of accountability, governance, due diligence, and outcomes for pupils.
It will highlight emerging trends, risks, and related questions, concentrating on public interest.
It will also draw on international examples of similar systems and cases, to inform and compare analyses.
It will not rehearse debates about the decision to develop the academies programme, but will focus on the consequences of this programme in terms of outcomes for children and young people and for the education system as a whole.
Particular attention will be given to the key issues of
a) accountability including processes via which schools are held accountable; the role of the sponsor; commissioning of services; governance; operation of local markets; due diligence (e.g. what happens when performance worsens or fails to improve under a particular sponsor or chain?)
b) educational outcomes and how to lever school improvement in an academised system, given school autonomy'
There will be a call for evidence soon in case anyone is interested in submitting their observations.
Particularly of interest, in the light of 8 Academies being acknowledged to be failing, is where proper scrutiny (and support) will come from in such a fragmented system.