Saturday, 5 June 2010

Schools to become Academies

The new government is pleasing all schools in England to become academies and encouraging parents to set up their own schools. 
What is an academy?
Academies are publicly-funded schools which operate outside of local authority control. They have more freedom than other schools in the state sector over issues such as teachers' pay and how the school is governed.
They also have greater freedom to digress from the national curriculum. Academies are established with government cash. They are often housed in new state-of the-art buildings and there are currently 203 of them in England.
What is a free school?
Free schools were Education Secretary Michael Gove's flagship policy in the run-up to the general election. The aim is to give parents' groups, charities, trusts and voluntary groups the chance to set up and operate schools.
The scheme is based on the system in Sweden, where non-profit and profit-making groups can set up schools - funded by the government - but free from its control.
Courtesy: BBC Q&A
There are currently 203 academies in England, compared with about 3,500 secondary schools. But Sally Coates, the principal at Burlington Danes Academy school in west London, expects the benefits offered by academy status will entice more into taking up the government's invitation to convert.

The NUT (National Union of Teachers) said the move could spell the end of state-provided education. The ATL (Association of Teachers and Lecturers) union has described the coalition's academy proposals as "irresponsible" and the NASUWT (National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers) said the scheme could "segregate and fragment communities". Before the election, the Liberal Democrats described the concept of free schools as a "shambles".


Education For All said...

Michel Gove, the education secretary, few days back, told the House of Commons that half of all top-rated secondary schools in England had applied to become academies. He said that 299 out of the 600 secondary schools judged outstanding by inspectors had requested to switch status in the past week. A further 327 outstanding schools had applied to become academies; of these 273 are primaries and 52 special schools. Some 2,000 primary schools and 300 special schools are judged outstanding.

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