“As a local authority school we simply would not be listened to by central government or other funding agencies…”
This is one of the reasons cited by Hove Park School
, Brighton, for becoming an academy.
The school also says:
“The Local Authority system is under-funded and unable to provide the support to schools that it has in the past.”
These two sentences appear to confirm what many have suspected:
1The Government is creating a two-tier system in which non-academies (still the majority) would be treated less favourably than academies. The money available for maintenance capital
in 2014/15, for example, is disproportionately higher for 3693 academies* (£442m) than for 16,000+ non-academies (£699m). And last week Education Secretary Michael Gove failed to confirm that £400m had not been siphoned from Basic Needs Allocation
to fund free schools.
2Local authorities are being so under-funded they are unable to support schools adequately.
It would appear, then, that the Government is discriminating against the majority of schools that are not academies.
It is an indictment on this Government’s attitude towards schools that it appears to dismiss the 16,000 non-academies. The Department for Education page for schools and colleges
contains a heading for academies and free schools but none for local authority maintained schools. If you Google “department for education maintained schools”, the top item (18 May 2014) was “Types of schools – Gov UK”. If you click on the link you will be taken to the page
“Academies and Free Schools”.
It is as if the majority of schools in England do not exist as far as DfE information is concerned.
But the majority of schools in England are NOT academies. And the majority of English pupils are being educated in non-academy schools.
No school should feel forced to convert to academy status to access funds which should be available equally and fairly to all schools in England. And all parents should be angry if schools feel that the only way to be listened to is to become an academy.
*open by 1 April 2014