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A pragmatic approach to academisation

Watch above and read below as head of policy Tom Middlehurst continues the discussion around the government’s recent announcement…

Last week, I wrote a blog – Schools shouldn’t give in to the fear, but should be thinking hard about academisation – on the government’s white paper Education Excellence Everywhere and the plans for a fully-academised school system. There was a good amount of both positive and negative response to the piece on social media.

Some commentators expressed worry over my attitude that schools needn’t rush into a decision around becoming a multi-academy trust but should be thinking hard about the big questions posed by the paper. This opinion, it was claimed, is defeatist and is simply assuming that academisation will definitely come to pass.

It must be said that I think it is absolutely right that individuals and organisations will continue to oppose the government’s plans. In any political system, it is paramount that the government of the day is accountable to the opposition and to the public.

However, we need to be realistic and practical. We are in a Conservative majority and there is a good chance that this legislation will pass. As a governor of a maintained secondary school, I want to make sure that in two or three years’ time we’re able to make our own destinies.

As a governor of a maintained secondary school, I want to make sure that in two or three years’ time we’re able to make our own destinies.

This means that right now we need to be thinking about the big ideas – what type of school do we want to be? What are our principles and values? And how can we find a MAT that will share them, embrace them, and strengthen them?

As we move forward, SSAT will continue to provide accurate and objective information to schools. We have always advocated the need for leaders to make their own decisions about what is right for their schools and we will continue to support schools to make the right decisions as we move towards this new world of academisation.


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