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We don't need more academies

14th June 2010

Rush to 'opt out' must be challenged

The Government threatens that your school could become an academy this term!

The government has announced that all schools will be able to become academies, and those judged to be 'outstanding' by Ofsted will be automatically approved and fast-tracked.

The government is trying to rush legislation through Parliament to allow schools to make decisions about this before the end of term, and Michael Gove has written to all schools inviting them to become an academy.

The government is extending the academies programme to primary schools for the first time. This is a very big extension of the academies programme. At the moment there are only 203 academies, but there are 600 'outstanding' secondary schools and 2,000 ‘outstanding’ primary schools that Gove is hoping to 'fast track' to academy status.

The government is also hoping to create a new type of 'free' school. They are very similar to academies, but will be founded in response to parents, or other groups, who want a new school in their area.

What is an academy?

Academies can be described as 'independent state schools'. These schools will be funded centrally by the government and the money will be taken away from the local authority.

Crucially academies:

don't have to employ teachers on national pay and conditions
can set their own admission policies
are controlled by an external sponsor

Is there extra money for schools that opt out?

The only extra money available for schools that opt to become academies will be taken from money the local authority holds centrally for support services. Each new academy will get its share of this money and the central fund will be reduced accordingly.

What services does the local authority provide?

Under the funding agreement with schools the local authority holds a central fund. Some of the services this is used to provide are:

SEN support
education psychology
school transport
NQT induction
inspection and advice
governor services
school admissions
HR support

Academies will have to buy these services from somewhere else or buy them back from the LA. Is this a new idea?

Various governments have promoted this model of education, where all schools are run independently, with no strategic role for Local Authorities. However, in the past they have had to ballot parents or consult with all interested parties. Up to now Local Authorities have been able to approve or veto planned academies. Often parents have supported teachers in saying they don’t want this to happen. This time it's different.

Who will decide on this?

The government is bringing forward legislation to allow governors to make this decision by a simple majority vote at a meeting. They won't have to consult parents or staff.

What does the NUT say?

All the teachers' unions strongly oppose academy status, primarily because of the effect on local planned education provision. It leads to selection and a two tier service. Crucially, there is the threat to teachers' pay and conditions.

Christine Blower, NUT General Secretary says, 'There is no evidence that the creation of Academies has raised standards'.

Chris Keates of the NASUWT says, "Academies and free schools are a recipe for educational inequality and social segregation".

Mary Bousted of the ATL says, "These plans are irresponsible and not thought through".

Can we stop this?

Yes we can, if we organise and show our opposition. We think many parents and governors can be persuaded by our arguments. Because the move to an academy involves a change of employer, it is possible for trade unions to take strike action to prevent this happening. We also need to ensure that NUT members stand as teacher governors in schools to oppose these proposals.

What can you do?

Talk to your headteacher
Organise a joint union meeting to discuss this
Find out when your governors are meeting
Write to your governors and ask to meet them
Contact the NUT for advice and for a speaker
Come along to the public meeting on 23rd June.


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Save West Gate School! (19th November 2021)
There Won't Be Any Changes When We Become an Academy. Don't Believe a Word of It! (23rd January 2019)
Still No Need to Rush to Academisation (27th January 2018)
Academies Are Bad For Your Health (8th November 2016)
Two petitions (7th July 2016)
The Government White Paper (30th March 2016)
New academies laws (30th March 2016)
How the government forces schools to become academies (15th January 2016)
Academisation at Uplands JS and Rushey Mead (24th June 2015)
Academies increase divisions between the rich and poor (4th September 2013)
Rushey Mead Secondary School - the fight continues (4th September 2013)
The Fight is on to Save Rushey Mead Secondary School (30th June 2013)
Gove writes to city MPs (12th November 2012)
Academies - not in Leicester! (3rd September 2012)
Academies: the one-way journey (25th May 2012)
Report From the 2012 NUT National Conference (18th April 2012)
Catholic Schools Consultation on Academies (14th November 2011)
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You Get Academies Whether You Want Them Or Not (7th May 2007)
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Revolt Against Academy in Blair's Backyard (7th November 2005)
Second Division (7th March 2005)
National Adjudicator Questions Value of City Academy (10th January 2005)
City Academy Consultation (6th December 2004)
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The Book of Job's Comforter (6th March 2000)