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Let schools choose to become academies, don't force them, says NAHT

Today's NAO report casts more doubt over the government's continued plans to force schools to become academies even if there are no available sponsors in their area.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT said: "Converting to academy status can be a positive step for a school and we support the right of schools to choose to convert where it’s in the interests of the school and the community it serves. We remain strongly opposed to forced academisation.

"As the NAO report shows, forcing schools to become academies does not guarantee that anything will change for the better for pupils and staff in those schools. The government's one size fits all approach means that there are often delays of months and months in finding a sponsor. This slows school improvement rather than speeding it up. The important thing is to provide effective support quickly, and forced conversion is not the answer. In many cases, the Local Authority will still be the best partner for a school seeking to improve.

"The lack of willing sponsors, and the number of schools that have been forced to convert but are miles away from their sponsor schools underlines the problems associated with forced conversion."

Press and Media contacts:

Steven George
NAHT Head of Press and Media
01444 472886
07970 907730

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