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The future of academies

Salford University to hold exhibition day to discuss the impact and future of the academy sector

Posted by Stephanie Broad | February 23, 2016 | Events

Academies were the brainchild of Lord Andrew Adonis, who had a vision of allowing more choice, improving schools and raising standards and to ultimately turn around failing schools, at present of the 21,500 state-funded schools in England, 17,300 are maintained schools and 4,200 are academies. The Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, announced in June 2015 that a further 1000 schools in England are set to become academies. 

“I want every school in the country to have the opportunity to become an academy and to benefit from the freedoms this brings” - David Cameron, August 2015

There have been significant improvements in the levels of academic attainment of some schools that have converted to academies. Statistics from the Department of Education show that academies are having a positive impact across the country. In secondary converter academy schools 68% of pupils achieved five or more GCSEs at grades A-C, including English and Maths, compared to 59% in Local Authority secondary schools.

However, a report from MPs in early 2015 said there was no direct raising of standards just because a school has academy status. Furthermore, MPs claimed that inconsistent sponsorship management of academies created stark disparities in education standards. The National Union of Teachers agreed, opposing schools gaining academy status on the grounds that they believe outsourcing education to the private sector has not resulted in a positive correlation in the raising of standards in schools.

Despite this, the newly elected Conservative government has published the Education Bill 2015 pledging to be more ambitious than ever about transforming the education system over the next five years. David Cameron’s announcement that his government aspires to make academies the norm reinforces the move towards academies. 

The Future of Academies: Showcase and Exhibition will hear from proponents and detractors of academies to give delegates an informed opinion on the future of education in England. 

Speakers include Regional Schools Commissioners, expert suppliers and multi-academy trusts, on a range of topics:

  • Leadership
  • The ‘school-led system’
  • Assessment and improvement tips
  • Recruitment
  • Employment law
  • Finance and governance
  • Asset management
  • Sustainability
  • Technology  

The Future of Academies takes place tomorrow at AJ Bell Stadium:    

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