ASCL comment on PAC academy conversions report

11 July 2018

Commenting on the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) report on converting schools to academies, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“It is clear from the findings of this report that the government has failed to provide sufficient safeguards and a coherent strategy in overseeing the biggest structural change in the history of the state education system.

“This has resulted not only in high-profile failures but a fragmented system in which oversight, as the PAC points out, is confusingly complex and burdensome, and schools are left in limbo because of a shortage of sponsors in some areas.

“Despite these circumstances, however, there are very many good academies across the country working tirelessly to give their students the very best education possible, and we need to be careful that the discourse about academies doesn’t become corrosive.

“Schools are schools, whether they are maintained or academies, and they share the same successes, challenges and experiences as one another.

“What all of them should be able to expect from the government is the strategic oversight and support that is necessary to make any system effective.”