"Coasting" schools and academies

The education and adoption bill has been published, with Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, saying that it will “sweep away bureaucratic and legal loopholes” that previously prevented schools from being improved. 

The main provisions of the bill are:

  • Rather than the current position, where the Secretary of State can issue an academy order to convert a school which has been rated inadequate by Ofsted into an academy but does not have to, now such schools will be subject to an academy order.
  • Warning notices will be issued to coasting schools.  At the moment there is no definition of what “coasting” means.  This is to be defined in regulations after a consultation in the summer.
  • If a school has been rated inadequate by Ofsted (and is therefore subject to an academy order), there will be no requirement to consult on the conversion to academy status. The governing body and local authority must take all reasonable steps to facilitate the conversion and there will be the power for the Secretary of State to direct a governing body and/or a local authority to take specific actions to facilitate the conversion process. 

There is clearly a renewed push for schools to convert to academies, from a Government whose stance on education became one of their flagship policies during the coalition.  The bill has not yet been passed, but it seems unlikely at present to come up against much resistance, meaning that many schools are going to be affected by this.  It may also mean that many schools will also reconsider whether now is the time to convert.

Please get in touch if you would like one of our education experts to speak to your governing body about the academy conversion process and what conversion would mean in practice for your school.

 

Please get in touch if you would like one of our education experts to speak to your governing body about the academy conversion process and what conversion would mean in practice for your school.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.