Last week, MP for Sedgefield, Phil Wilson voted against the Conservative Government’s plans to force all primary and secondary schools to become academies.
The Labour Party has ridiculed the Tory plan, which instead of focusing on driving up standards obsesses over school structures.
Mr Wilson, along with other Labour MP’s fiercely oppose these plans, highlighting that at a time when schools are facing huge challenges of falling financial budgets for the first time since the 1990’s, chronic teacher shortages, and not enough good school places, this is an unnecessary and unfounded distraction by the government with will only harm schools.
In Newton Aycliffe the damage of the Tory’s forced academisation policy is already evident, with the Head Teacher of Aycliffe Village Primary School having resigned over the policy.
Commenting on the Tory policy Phil Wilson said “Tory plans to force all primary and secondary schools to become academies illustrates how far off the mark they are. It simply illustrates the Tory obsession with school structures, when they should be focused on raising the standard of education.”
The vast majority of the schools affected are primary schools, 80% of which are already good and outstanding. In fact, there are more mainstream academies and Free Schools (446 to be exact) which require improvement or are inadequate compared to 383 non-academies. The government has no other improvement strategy to deal with these schools.
Furthermore, Government figures reveal that the average time for a maintained school to convert to become an academy is 7 months. That means that for two thirds of the school year, school leaders and teachers could be spending time, money, and energy on the Tories unfounded obsessions with academisation, instead of raising standards.