Is membership of an academy string always better than going it alone?

The government’s proposals to reform the schooling system have been subject to much review and debate recently, particularly in relation to schools converting to academy status and the creation of so called Free Schools. One of the most often trumpeted benefits is that conversion to academy status will allow schools more freedom as they will not be governed by their local education authority. Equally leaving LEA control can leave schools feeling isolated and lacking in centralised and cost effective support structures. In this context joining forces with other academies or even joining a so called “academy string” or federation can appear attractive. However concerns are now being raised as to whether joining an academy string removes the so called freedom dividend. Leadership Briefing 6.07 (67)

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