Lord Nash urges more schools to become, and to sponsor, academies
Lord Nash, speaking at the Academies Conference in London on 24 April, urged more schools to become academies: he said that ‘the academies programme is the best chance for the future for education’, and that if schools made the step to become academies, they ‘would not regret it’.
Lord Nash, education minister with responsibility for the academies programme, reminded his audience that whilst there are plenty of excellent schools, far too many have fallen behind and have allowed their pupils to fall behind. ‘We have to improve the quality of education substantially and fast’, he said, adding that the best way to do this was via the academies programme.
Repeating what we have heard from other ministers of the present and previous government, he said that the Government believes that headteachers and teachers are the best people to run schools, and that they should be given the freedom to get on and do that job. ‘Becoming an academy gives you 100% control of your budget and freedom to run your school in the best interest of its learners’, he explained, but added that more important was the change in mindset that it brought about. Its not just ‘freedom from, but freedom to’.
Lord Nash specifically urged academy governing bodies to consider using their new freedoms to move to what he called ‘a more dynamic governance structure’ – although he did not say what that involved.
He also said that he believes in school-to-school support and local collaboration between schools, and asked existing successful academies to put themselves forward to take up the opportunity to support and sponsor other underperforming schools near them.