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Academies, the school system in England and a vision for the future

West, Anne and Wolfe, David (2018) Academies, the school system in England and a vision for the future. Clare Market Papers (23). London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. ISBN 9781909890428

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Abstract

This report outlines the way in which a policy, introduced by the Labour Government in the early 2000s and expanded by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition from 2010, to give individual schools freedom has in fact resulted in over 70 per cent of those schools having less freedom than they had before, if indeed they legally exist as separate schools at all. It explains how the resulting practical issues could be addressed – including restoring genuine school autonomy – without necessarily needing the politically dramatic step of re-imposing a system of maintained schools. Nearly a third of publicly-funded schools in England are now ‘academies’ (22 per cent of primary and 68 per cent of secondary schools), rather than ‘maintained by’ local authorities. Academies are owned and run by not-for-profit private trusts registered with Companies House, subject to company law and some statutory education law, and controlled and funded directly by central government by contract, rather than governed by statutory education law as for maintained schools. Although some trusts run ‘stand-alone’ academies, most academies are now in ‘chains’. In 2017, 73 per cent of academies were run by Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs). These schools no longer exist as legal entities and cannot – at the initiative of the head teacher or local governing body – decide to leave the MAT. The report provides a brief history of the school system and the development of the academies programme in England. It discusses the ‘funding agreements’ for academies; academy ‘chains’; regional schools commissioners; the legal identity of academies; and some of the ‘freedoms’ of academies. It also summarises some key issues raised by what it describes, and presents proposals for policy makers to address some of these.

Item Type: Monograph (Report)
Additional Information: © 2018 The Authors © CC BY 4.0
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Research centres and groups > Education Research Group (ERG)
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2018 12:00
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2019 23:11
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/88240

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