The Government set out its vision to continue to rise education standards in England over the rest of this Parliament. The Government is committed to ensuring every child has an excellent education which allows them to achieve their full potential. The reforms of the past 6 years have led to 1.4 million more children being taught in 'good' and 'outstanding' schools. Central to this improvement has been the academy programme.
Since launching its proposals in the White Paper, Educational Excellence Everywhere, the Government has listened to feedback from MPs, teachers, school leaders and parents. What is clear from those conversations is that the impact academies have in transforming young people's life chances is widely accepted, as is the case for putting greater responsibility in the hands of school leaders.
As a result of these conversations, the Government has decided that it is not necessary to bring into force legislation across all schools at this time- especially when it comes to schools that are performing well.
But the goal to achieve academisation by 2022 remains. This is because it is still viewed as the best way to tackle failing schools. The Government will continue to require underperforming schools to convert to academy status where they can benefit from the support of a strong sponsor. It will also legislate so that all schools within a local authority area are converted if the local authority can no longer viably support the remaining schools, or where a local authority is consistently failing to meet a minimum performance threshold and is unable to bring about meaningful school improvement.
The Government is focussing its efforts on those schools most at risk of failing young people. It also hopes that after demonstrating the positive impact this will have on schools, 'good' and 'outstanding' schools will make their own choice to become an academy by 2020, further empowering frontline heads and school leads, and transforming even more children's education.
The Education Secretary says that there are sufficient resources available through the budget and the Department of Education's settlement in the spending review to accommodate these changes. £600 million will be made available to support and assist sponsors turning around failing schools.
By confirming that there is no longer a universal rollout through legislation to turn all schools into academies shows that the Government are taking this matter very seriously, and are listening to all concerns.