The Education Select Committee has called for evidence
in an investigation into aspects of the Academy and Free Schools policy.
In particular they are looking for:
1 The effectiveness of academisation in narrowing the gap for disadvantaged children, and what further steps should be taken within the academies system to bring about a transformational impact on student outcomes;
2 The process for approving, compelling and establishing academies and free schools, including working with sponsors;
3 The role of the Secretary of State in intervening in and supporting failing academies, and how this role will work as the programme expands;
4 The functions and responsibilities in relation to academies and free schools of local authorities and other organisations operating between the Secretary of State and individual schools; what these functions and responsibilities should be; and what gaps there are in support for schools at this level;
5 What role academy chains play or should play in the new school landscape; how accountable they are; and what issues they raise with regard to governance arrangements;
6 The appropriateness of academy status for primary schools and what special factors apply; and what evidence there is that academy status can bring value for money either for individual primary schools or for the system as a whole;
7 What alternatives to sponsored academy status should be offered to failing primary schools.
I think it would be great if Henry or Janet were to contribute towards this investigation given the amount of work that both have done on the subject.