Contact your MP about forced academisation

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17 February 2016
At a time when we have a lack of school places, qualification chaos, a lack of school leaders and head teachers, a teacher recruitment and retention crisis, as well as a crisis in teacher workload, ATL is concerned that the government is focusing on the type of schools and who runs them with this rush to academisation rather than trying to address these issues which will have a direct impact on children's education.

As part of ATL's campaign against the forced academisation of schools in England you may wish to contact your MP to highlight the following issues:

Lack of parent voice or local democracy

There will be no right for parents of pupils at a school to be consulted on the academy chain taking over their child's school. And current proposals would remove the requirement that when parent governors on school governing bodies are replaced it is by professionals with the right skills. We know that EACT has already removed local governing bodies and now all 23 of their academies will be under one governing body.

No evidence that academies work

There is no evidence to suggest that pupils get better grades in academies or that academisation in and of itself leads to schools performing better. The Education Select Committee reported that 'current evidence does not allow us to draw conclusions on whether academies in themselves are a positive force for change'.

Poor performance in multi-academy trusts

In March 2016 the Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, wrote highlighting 'serious weaknesses' in academy chains. He stated that following focused inspections he had highlighted 'serious weaknesses that were contributing to poor progress and outcomes for too many pupils' in seven multi-academy trusts. ATL has concerns that moving to academy status may threaten current standards of children's education.

Where is the evidence that enough sponsors for these MATs will come

Sir David Carter, the national schools commissioner, estimates that around 1,000 new Multi-Academy Trusts will be needed to run academies if all existing schools are turned into academies. He also recognised that some of the academy trusts had grown too quickly but that small trusts would be unsustainable in an environment where all schools had to be turned into academies in the next four years.

DfE accounts – how will they control the spending in MATs

The National Audit Office previously criticised how the Department for Education supervised the finances of academies and the estimated overspend of £1 billion. This move to make all schools academies would mean that all schools would be run from Whitehall and we have no confidence in the Department's ability to oversee this. There needs to be proper and thorough consideration that this is the best use of tax payers' money.

What can you do?

You can use these areas as the basis of a letter or conversation with your MP.

If you'd like to arrange a meeting with your MP you can download our full briefing on how to lobby your MP

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