“Shambolic” education u-turns distracting North East schools from raising standards

Department for Education fast becoming “Ministry of Mass Confusion” after series of gaffes and u-turns

Plans to force the conversion of all schools to academy status have today been abandoned by the Government.

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SCHOOLS NorthEast, the representative body for all 1,250 schools across the region, today welcomed the Government’s decision to abandon forced academisation. The regional schools network warned the Education Secretary that the turmoil is unsettling schools that are already facing widespread changes in curriculum and assessment.

SCHOOLS NorthEast Director, Mike Parker, said: “The past few weeks have been nothing short of shambolic. We have seen Sats tests thrown into absolute chaos by leaked papers, parental boycotts, a backtracking on reception assessments due to comparability issues that had been flagged to the Government before, and now a U-turn on the most significant element of the education white paper. The Department for Education is at risk of becoming the Ministry of Mass Confusion.

“The Department has set the education system in a flat spin and has distracted Head Teachers from focusing on raising standards within their schools. The Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, needs to get a grip on this situation and instil stability in the system or our children’s education will suffer.”

The Government issued a statement stressing its commitment to see all schools become academies in the next six years, but stated that ‘blanket conversion’ legislation does not need to be introduced in order to achieve this.

SCHOOLS NorthEast has called on the Government to provide additional clarity regarding the circumstances that might, in light of these recent changes, trigger forced academisation.

Mr Parker added: “There is no clear picture of what these changes mean for the North East. The Government is still set on delivering their academisation promise, but through other means. We want to know what that entails and which areas in our region will be at risk.”

SCHOOLS NorthEast will be seeking further clarification from the Department for Education.

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