ASCL comment on Schools Bill U-turn

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on news that the government is scrapping several clauses in the Schools Bill.
We are pleased that the government is scrapping clauses in the Schools Bill which would have handed unprecedented powers to the Education Secretary over virtually every aspect of the running of academies from the length of the school day to the spiritual development of pupils to the handling of complaints.

“It was a ridiculous attempt to centralise power in Whitehall over matters which are obviously much better decided by professional educators who know the needs of their schools and their pupils. 

“This power-grab was rightly called out by members of the House of Lords from across the political spectrum and we are grateful for their intervention. 

“We note that the government intends to come back with new proposals as part of its drive for full academisation. We hope that these proposals will be far more proportionate and sensible. 

“The wider picture is the enormous amount of time and energy which is being spent on these structural adjustments to the education system and the associated legislation at a time when many schools and colleges are experiencing a severe shortage of teachers and rising costs which are putting strained budgets under even more pressure. 

“These are the matters that should really be the focus of the government’s efforts.”