Commenting on a new poll of teachers in England by The Sutton Trust, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:
"Converting to academy status can be a positive step, and there are many head teachers that choose to convert in the best interests of their schools and communities they serve.
“But as this report shows, forcing a school to become an academy does not guarantee that everything will get better for pupils and staff. Ultimately, structures are not the key to school improvement. What matters most is that schools are properly funded and well resourced, with sufficient talented and well-supported teachers.
“As any school leader will tell you, changing the name on the school gate is no silver bullet, especially when budgets are at breaking point. All state-funded schools, regardless of type, are falling into debt and struggling to keep providing children with the support they need.
“If schools are being forced to spend Pupil Premium money on just plugging the gaps, it is obviously not reaching the children who most need it. And with more than 70% reporting cuts to teaching staff, it is not difficult to see how vulnerable children who previously relied on dedicated support are now simply getting lost in the classroom.
“We cannot risk failing children. The government must fulfil its core responsibilities to schools: enough money and people to do the job properly.”
James Bowen, director of NAHT Edge, said:
“It’s very encouraging to see an increase in the number of schools using evidence to inform decision making. With budgets as tight as they are, it’s more important than ever that the limited funds schools have at their disposal are spent on strategies that are likely to have the greatest impact on pupils. All too often, it seems that government allow ideology to trump evidence; it’s good to see that schools are not following their lead.”
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