After the dangerous dogs act the second piece of legislation passed by the new coalition government was the Academies Act. There’s no doubt that this is a critical policy by the government to free schools from Local Authority control and provide them with far greater autonomy. But is it going to be successful? As a Governor going through an evaluation of Academy status at the moment it is clear that momentum is building with a number of schools likely to convert for January 1, 2011 and an even bigger number for April 1, 2011. This latter date coicides with the financial year and will make sense to many schools as the ideal time to become an Academy.
This is definitely an initiative to watch and I suspect that we’ll get a running total of academies over the coming months as the government continues to encourage, push and cajole more and more schools. Here’s the latest information from Michale Gove:
Michael Gove, Education Secretary, today (Sept 1) announced that 142 schools have accepted the Government’s offer to become an academy since the Academies Act became law just over a month ago. These schools have made a commitment to work with other schools and share their expertise. This is the first wave of converters in a rolling process that allows schools to convert at any stage.
The running total of schools that will become academies this academic year is 216 so far. The current breakdown is as follows:
- 142 schools converting to become academies: 32 are opening this week and a further 110 schools have had Academy Orders signed which means they are on track to convert to academies over the coming months.
- Of the 142, there are 7 primary schools which become the first ever primary academies to open. The Government has said that special schools will also be allowed to become academies from next year.
- 64 new academies replace failing schools this September plus a further 10 opening by April 2011. This is record progress; it took five years for 15 city technology colleges to open, and four years for the first 27 academies to open.
Michael Gove said:
This Government believes that teachers and head teachers, not politicians and bureaucrats, should control schools and have more power over how they are run. That’s why we are spreading academy freedoms. This will give heads more power to tackle disruptive children, to protect and reward teachers better, and to give children the specialist teaching they need.
This year’s GCSE results saw academy pupils improving at nearly three times the historic rate of state school improvement.
Notes to editors
- A full list of all schools becoming academies for this September term is available to download. Download the list as a pdf (pdf, 45kb). Download the list as a spreadsheet (excel, 46kb). A list of applications for academy status, and Academy Orders is also available to download. Download the list as a pdf (pdf, 60kb). Download the list as a spreadsheet (excel, 47kb).
- For further information and responses from Heads of new academies, read the full press notice.
- The list below gives the number of academies opening each year under the previous Government:
- 3 opened in 2002
- 9 opened in 2003
- 5 opened in 2004
- 10 opened in 2005
- 19 opened in 2006
- 37 opened in 2007
- 47 opened in 2008
- 70 opened in 2009
- 3 opened in January 2010