All schools to be academies by 2022

Further details of the government’s plans to convert all primary and secondary school in England into academies have been outlined in the ‘Educational Excellence Everywhere’ white paper.

The plans were first announced in Chancellor George Osborne’s 2016 Budget, which focussed heavily education reforms.

The white paper reiterates Osborne’s statement that all schools will have to be in the process of becoming an academy by 2020 and clarifies that local authorities will no longer maintain schools by the end of 2022.

Under the plans, most schools will be expected to join multi-academy trusts (MATs), with some cases being allowed to operate a single academy trust if they choose to. The paper also clarifies that, apart from exceptional circumstances, the smallest schools will have to join an MAT.

Alongside the new plans, there will also be greater accountability measures introduced for MATs, as well as a legal framework for academies that is ‘fit for purpose for the ling term’.

Given these changes, the role of local authorities will be to ensure every child has a school place, that the needs of all pupils are met and championing parents and the local community, but they will step back from maintaining and improving schools.

Additionally, the paper also outlines that a new online ‘Parent Portal’ will be launched in 2017, which will clearly set out key school information for parents, with the aim of helping parents to better support their children and strengthen parental choice.

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