Government climbdown on forcing all schools to become academies by 2022 – Friday 6 May 2016

In a press release issued by the DfE this afternoon the Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, has confirmed that the Government will not be bringing in legislation requiring all schools in England to become academies.  Mrs Morgan  stated that since the launch of the Education White Paper the Government had listened to feedback received from MPs, teachers, school leaders and parents.

In an interview with the BBC Mrs Morgan said “this is about being a listening government and I would consider myself to be a listening secretary of state.  Better to have reforms than have none at all.”

The Government will continue to require underperforming schools to convert to academy status and will bring forward legislation which will trigger conversion of all schools within a local authority in 2 specific circumstances:

  • where it is clear that the local authority can no longer viably support its remaining schools because a critical mass of schools in that area has converted. Under this mechanism a local authority will also be able to request the Department for Education converts all of its remaining schools
  • where the local authority consistently fails to meet a minimum performance threshold across its schools, demonstrating an inability to bring about meaningful school improvement