Academies white paper will go ahead, Justine Greening confirms

The Education Secretary faced her first grilling in front of the Education Select Committee yesterday, where she announced the Government’s plan to enact the Educational Excellence Everywhere white paper.

Ms Greening explained to MPs that the Government is currently “pulling together” legislation to go ahead with the planned changes, adding that she wanted to focus academisation on “struggling” schools.

The Committee heard that more details will undoubtedly be made available later in the year.

The Education Secretary said: “Our hope and expectation is that schools will want to steadily take advantage of the benefits that academies can bring, but our focus will be on those schools where we feel standards need to be raised”.

However, Ms Greening told the Committee that one controversial policy within the white paper put together during Nicky Morgan’s tenure will be scrapped. The bill won’t include plans to remove the need of parent governors from academies, who the Education Secretary believes have a “vital role”, adding: “Often…when schools turn around it’s when parents become more engaged and more invested in the school’s success.

“That helps to build the school from the outside, as well as the hard work teachers are doing on the inside.

“It doesn’t happen overnight, it takes years, but parents are part of how success gets delivered so I do not think we should proceed with that.”

Further reading: 
Justine Greening’s first Education Select Committee: 4 things we learned (Schools Week)

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