Primary Academies on the Timetable?
Academies specialising exclusively in primary school children should be opened, Lord Adonis, the schools minister, has said.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Adonis, the architect behind the academies programme, indicated that he wanted it to spread as widely as possible.
However, he shied away from a commitment to government funding for the project, saying he would “encourage local authorities to think about the potential of developing primary-only academies”.
Academies — state schools run with sponsorship from the private sector or charities — have been up and running for six years but so far have been concentrated in the secondary sector.
Adonis’s desire reflects a wider ambition to reduce the role of local authorities in managing schools — by turning them into academies or other forms of semi-independent schools such as trusts.
“All the evidence is that schools work best when they have strong independent managements and are not run directly by local authorities,” he said.
Adonis made clear local authorities would have to find their own money to extend the programme.
“The budget we have for academies nationally is targeted at our most immediate priority, which is the transformation of under performing secondary schools,” he said.