In July the government announced the 'Review of Post-16 Education and Training' (known as the Area Reviews). The objectives is to achieve 'clear, high quality professional and technical routes to employment, alongside academic routes' and 'better responsiveness to local employer need and economic priorities'.
Those interested in how the government’s academies programme might impact the school education system in years to come should take a look at the recent history of the FE sector for some clues.
There are a number of things members in schools considering academy status can do and these are listed below.
The designation ‘coasting’ severely disadvantages maintained schools – and is designed to do so.
The Labour government introduced the first academy schools in 2002. The Conservative-led coalition government moved quickly after the election in 2010 to offer academy status to all schools, often with financial incentives, and introduced the free schools programme; legally, a free school is a kind of academy.
Once the government has given the go-ahead for a school to convert by issuing an academy order, there are a number of issues for members to consider. These are listed below.
Over past decades, teaching has become a closely managed profession. Successive governments have become increasingly involved in prescribing the detail of curriculum, assessment and pedagogy. Government and its agencies have attempted to standardise practice and have developed complex mechanisms to hold teachers and schools to account, mainly at national level through tests, performance tables and OfSTED inspections. These mechanisms have encouraged a culture of competition, of winners and losers, within the school system and for individual pupils and parents.