Academy Up-Front Payment Dropped
The government is to make it easier for private sponsors to take over and run English state schools, in a bid to speed up its academies programme. Instead of providing up-front funds of £2m, potential backers will now simply have to prove "the necessary skills and leadership" to run an academy. The lowering of barriers for sponsors of these independent state schools comes as ministers open the 200th one.
The dropping of the £2m requirement is intended to both accelerate the number of academies opening and appeal to organisations which might have been deterred by the cost. Children's Secretary, Ed Balls, wants charities, parent groups and private firms to become sponsors of academies. No decision has been made yet about the imposition of academies in Leicester.