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Education Secretary, Damian HInds

Responding to calls from the Education Secretary Damian Hinds for more schools to become an academy, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:

“We all aspire to seeing children get an education of the highest quality, whether that is in an academy or a council-maintained school.

“Converting to an academy is not always the best solution for a struggling school.

“While there are examples of successful sponsor-led conversions to academy status, the evidence shows that council-led interventions have an even better record in terms of turning around failing schools. Moreover, the latest figures show 91 per cent of council-maintained schools are now rated good or outstanding – compared to 85 per cent of academies.

“Councils are also alarmed by the report from the Public Accounts Committee today, which highlights instances of academy failure and misuse of funds as well as recent research which revealed two-thirds of academy chains perform below average for disadvantaged pupils.

“The Government needs to work with councils and give them the necessary powers to play a leading role in school improvement yet again and meet the challenges currently facing the education system.”

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