Morgan to define ‘underperforming’ councils with consultation and vote

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has said the decision as to whether a council should be deemed as underperforming or no longer financially able to support schools will be set out in a consultation and put to a vote of MPs.

The proposed new powers were set out in the government’s white paper, with Morgan soon after issuing a U-turn on the policy, instructing that only underperforming schools will be compelled to turn into academies by 2022.

According to analysis by SchoolsWeek, a large majority of the councils likely to be targeted by the policy are run by Labour administrations, which has lead to further criticism of the measure. The definition will be subject to an affirmative resolution, meaning it will need the support the majority of MPs to become law.

The news comes as critics such as shadow secretary Lucy Powell have branded Morgan’s U-turn over academisation a ‘chaotic mess’.

However, Morgan has defended: “Our goal has not changed. There will be no retreat from giving every child the best start in life.”

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