Schools should not be rushing to convert to Academies!



The message today is that Schools should not be rushing to convert to Academies

Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix Labour Party Councillors photography. Pictured is Cllr Phil Bateman

Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix Labour Party Councillors photography. Pictured is Cllr Phil Bateman

because the Government has announced that it is seeking to go this way.

This change is not inevitable and governing bodies should not rush to convert.

Schools should make the decision about their status that is right for them and not feel pushed into converting now.

I agree that It’s vital that the children in the communities we represent get the best start in life.

By working in partnership with schools and communities, local councils are able to help improve standards and ensure that schools serve the needs of local communities. This conversion policy constructed by the Tories is a damaging proposal – which, we must remember, is by no means certain to happen.

It’s astonishing that, at a time of major cuts to school budgets, the Government would propose spending hundreds of millions turning all schools into academies when there is not a shred of evidence that it will help improve education standards. Over 80 per cent of maintained schools have been rated good or excellent by Ofsted, while three times as many councils perform above the national average in terms of progress made by students than the largest academy chains.

When a school is struggling, we must take action – but converting every school to an academy, without giving parents a say, is not the answer.

The Government needs to listen to the concerns of parents, teachers, unions, local representatives and experts and rethink the proposals. The Local Government Association Labour Group have already met with Lucy Powell MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, and have agreed to work together to campaign against these proposals.

It’s also worth noting that Conservative Councillors are also less enamoured by there Governments  rush to form Academies from all schools.

Becoming part of a large chain of Academies  isn’t what is is cracked up to be!

The News has been full of ‘dodgy’ deals and Chief Executives being paid twice. So if you are a Governor of a School today, don’t rush into pushing for your school to become an Academy!

Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more


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