Scrutiny says no to imposed academies

28th February, 2013

After lengthy and full consideration of the options the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Commission rejected proposals for voluntary academies for some primary schools in Leicester. We agreed to endorse the council’s current policy of opposition to all academies.

We were told that all our schools with the support of the local authority had made great improvements in recent years and there was no reason to think that this would not continue. There were only two schools at risk of having academy status imposed on them and with the track record of success across the city, members of the commission saw every reason that these two schools could also improve.

We heard that imposed academies would cost the council £250,000 per year, money we could not use to support other schools. Academies also have control over their land and buildings and are not subject to our policies on climate change. They get more money per pupil than other schools introducing a fundamental inequality into the city.

Michael Gove the Secretary of State for Education has  the power to impose academy status on schools that are judged inadequate by Ofsted. It was the commissions view that the council should work with any school and its governing body to fight it being forced into an academy. We were told that there were some schools that had successfully fought being forced to become academies. The option in front of us to support these schools voluntarily becoming academies was rejected.

The Commission also received a report detailing how £15million is to be spent on new classrooms for primary schools to meet increases in numbers of children. See details of this good news in the Leicester Mercury.

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