Failing schools to be turned into academies under new measures


Tough new measures to turn around failing schools means that up to 1,000 schools in England could be turned into academies.

The new Education and Adoption Bill will close loopholes that previously prevented schools from being improved, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said.

Previously, campaigners could delay or overrule failing schools being improved by education experts by obstructing the process by which academy sponsors take over running schools. In some cases campaigners have delayed intervention by drawing out debates, refusing to provide important information and blocking vital decisions.

But the Education and Adoption Bill will force councils and governing bodies to actively progress the conversion of failing schools into academies, removing roadblocks which previously left too many pupils languishing in underperforming schools.

The new rules also make clear that in the future every single school rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted will be turned into an academy.

The bill also includes plans to tackle coasting schools by putting them on a notice to improve. These schools will be given support from our team of expert headteachers, with those schools that continue to be unable to demonstrate a clear plan for improvement given new leadership.

Under the bill, the regional commissioners would take on the responsibility for making academy orders, and the requirement for potential academy sponsors to consult with the local community would be scrapped.

The bill sets out measures to turn all schools deemed to be failing into academies, doubling the current rate.

Currently, schools are said to be failing if rated inadequate by Ofsted and missing government benchmarks on results and pupil progress, but new yardsticks are to be consulted on in the near future.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said: "The bill will allow the best education experts to intervene in poor schools from the first day we spot failure. It will sweep away the bureaucratic and legal loopholes previously exploited by those who put ideological objections above the best interests of children.

“Hundreds of schools, often in disadvantaged areas, are already being turned around thanks to the help of strong academy sponsors - education experts who know exactly what they have to do to make a failing school outstanding. This bill will allow them to do their job faster and more effectively, ensuring that thousands more pupils, from across the country, get the world-class education they deserve.”

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