Thursday, January 06, 2011

Academies: the significance of numbers and the future of regulation

So one in ten English schools are now academiesmarking a doubling of academy numbers. I do have some sympathy with commentator Conor Ryan’s tweet that:

It is not the number of academies, but their contribution to school improvement that matters most.

As a former advisor to the last government Conor Ryan blogs:

it is simply ridiculous to claim that the marginal governance and financial changes involved in converting an outstanding school to an academy are in any way comparable to the huge task involved in gaining secure sponsorship and leadership for a new academy in a tough area or an academy replacing a failing school.

The setting-up of academies planned by the previous government and the conversion process allowed by the current government mean that there is a significant challenge and workload associated with regulating them. (On top of that free schools are in the pipeline.) It is therefore ironic that a fog of uncertainty has descended on the future regulation of the academy sector since the regulatory changes planned for 1 January appear to have been postponed. The Young People’s Learning Agency is funding and overseeing the sector, but Third Sector reported yesterday that it has not formally been made the new Principal Regulator to replace the Charity Commission.

No comments: