22 April 2016
The Government’s proposal to turn all schools in England into academies has been met with dismay from parents, teachers, local authorities, governors, and many Conservative MPs and councillors.
These proposals are being put forward in a White Paper despite a pronounced lack of evidence that forcing a school to become an academy improves standards.
On 23 March the NUT wrote to the Secretary of State for Education asking a set of questions about the evidence base. Nicky Morgan has now responded but the reply received does not address the questions raised, and again provides no evidence to justify the policy.
The NUT’s Deputy General Secretary has once again written to the Secretary of State seeking answers to the original questions and posing new questions arising from her reply.
The letter is available here.
Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“It is disgraceful that the Government plans to go ahead with the mass academisation of schools despite there being no supporting evidence either internationally or in the UK that this will lead to improvements in education.
“The Government is pulling the statistical wool over our eyes. They cherry-pick statistics which do not compare like with like, they fail to provide meaningful international comparisons and they refuse to engage with the evidence which shows Local Authority schools improving faster and getting better results than matched groups of academy schools.
“This forced academy conversion of all schools was not mentioned in the Conservatives’ General Election manifesto last year. Given the uproar from all sectors of society, including their own MPs, it is perhaps not surprising that this proposal was not put before the people during the General Election campaign.
“But when there is no evidence to justify the policy and no manifesto commitment to it, the Government must not be allowed to press ahead with plans that remove choice from parents or communities about how their schools are run.
“We are forced to the conclusion this is not an evidence-based policy to improve education but an ideologically motivated, top down reorganisation of education.
“The NUT will work with all interested parties to save our children’s education from this disruption.
“The NUT again awaits a response from Nicky Morgan on the serious questions of evidence we have put to her.”