Forced academy turnaround welcomed by County Council

News that the Government has abandoned plans to convert all schools to academies has been welcomed by Somerset County Council.

Cabinet member for Children and Families, Cllr Frances Nicholson, had criticised the plans in a letter to the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, saying that “There is no evidence that the structural change of academisation improves outcomes for children.”

Under the original draft government plans, all state schools in England would have left the oversight of the local authority by 2022. But in a turnaround today, the Government said that they support strong local authorities where schools are good and outstanding and that they can make their own choice whether to convert.

“Until we understand exactly what is in the new proposals I can’t go into too much detail,” Cllr Nicholson said. “However, we are very pleased with the Secretary of State’s decision and welcome the choice this gives back to all schools.

“It’s important that policy makers listen. They asked for comment, people responded and they seem to have taken that on board and that is how it should be. We will continue to work with all of our schools to support strong partnership working that enables all children to fulfil their potential.”