The system used by the government to convert local authority-maintained schools into academies is under National Audit Office scrutiny.
The government spending watchdog has published a report looking at the progress of the academies programme, in the context of recent moves to increase the number of academies across England.
In the March 2016 white paper ‘Educational Excellence Everywhere’, the Department for Education stated that “by the end of 2020, all remaining maintained schools will be academies or in the process of conversion”, and “local authorities will no longer maintain any schools”.
The 13 most critical points in the NAO’s Academies and Schools Oversight report
Today the National Audit Office (NAO) released a document scrutinising the way schools are overseen and intervened on if under-performing.
Reading it is illuminating. Academies have been complicated to keep abreast of over the last few years, and it does a good job of explaining who is responsible for what (so far as there actually is anyone) and of explaining which bits are working – and which aren’t. (NB: there are more of the latter).
Headlines will likely tout the £382m spent on oversight and the lack of evidence about what it’s being spent on. By contrast the Coalition will trumpet the good news: Academies are now much cheaper (by 83%) and there are more of them.
If you read the full report however (and you should) there are some more finicky but important lessons. Here’s the top ones.
DfE fails to run ‘fit and proper’ checks on all academy leaders
National Audit Office also highlights large distances between struggling schools and the sponsors who are helping them
The National Audit Office today published its report examining the conversion of maintained schools into academies.
Future of academisation in doubt, spending watchdog warns
Heads’ leader warns that struggling schools are being ‘left in limbo’ by delays converting them into academies
The government’s flagship academies programme is running into increasing challenges, a report by the government spending watchdog has said.