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White paper and universal academisation

In its recent White Paper, Educational Excellence Everywhere, the government states its intention that every school will become an academy.

  • The government is not taking immediate powers to force conversion. Do not rush into it.
  • Schools must have a plan in place by 2020 for completion by 2022.
  • The MAT is the preferred option but is not compulsory.
  • Local authorities will lose their statutory school improvement role (see below).

If you want to read our opinion on this policy, see this article in the TES.

And our latest advice on academies can be found here.

The following important changes are also proposed in the white paper.

Funding
  • More funds for primary sport.
  • Extra funds to speed the transition to a national funding formula.
  • A new fund secondary schools can bid for to extend the school day.
  • A further rise in employer pension contributions. The amount is not clear and it may cancel some of the above increases.
Teaching
  • New content for ITT on evidence-based practice and subject knowledge.
  • Commitment to retain a role for universities in ITT.
  • National teaching vacancies website.
  • Reform of QTS so it is awarded by the school after two to four years.
  • Endorsement for a College of Teaching and a new peer-reviewed education journal.
  • Broader remit for EEF
Leadership
  • The government mentions our Foundation for Leadership in Education and expects it to take over development in due course.
  • An Ofsted holiday for new leaders.
  • A new fund for innovative leadership development programmes.
  • Governance to be skills based.
  • A database of governors, including those barred from the role.
School improvement
  • No local authority function from 2017.
  • Build capacity for school-to-school support in areas of the country where it is weak to be called Achieving Excellence Areas. 
  • The government will break the link with the Ofsted outstanding grade for participation as teaching schools and system leaders.
Curriculum
  • No new policies.
Accountability
  • Schools will remain accountable for the education of children referred to Alternative Provision.
System and resources
  • Commitment to a national funding formula.
  • Local authorities will retain a role for school places, admissions, special needs, high needs funding and championing the needs of families and children.
Page Published: 19/04/2016