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We need the evidence on primary academies, say school leaders

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Responding to David Cameron’s announcement that 400 ‘struggling’ primary schools will be paired with sponsors and converted into academies by the end of next year, Russell Hobby, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said: “One thing in the Prime Minister's announcement which is conspicuous by its absence is the evidence that primary academies work.

“There is no silver bullet. We know that academies sometimes succeed and sometimes they don't. What works for a large secondary is not guaranteed to help a small primary.

"Nor is this initiative reliably targeting failing schools. Some of those schools which have been forcibly converted so far were among the fastest-improving schools in the country before conversion.

“In many ways, academisation is the wrong priority for the primary sector, with its thousands of small schools who rely on their local connections. The government should be focusing on tighter collaboration.

“There is excellent work going on in primary education, in both maintained and academy schools, to provide children with the best possible start in life. We do not want to see any young person hindered in their education as a result of government-led structural changes which do not suit a particular school.”

 

Page Published: 12/11/2012