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Education and Adoption Bill - Further Update

December 2015

The Bill has now been through the detailed amendments process in Parliament and is now unlikely to change significantly before it becomes law.

The main changes in the bill are:

  1. To introduce a duty on a proposed academy provider to communicate their plans to improve a school. This applies only where a maintained school which is causing concern is to be converted to academy status. Schools that are causing concern are those judged by Ofsted as inadequate, "coasting" or fail to improve following a warning notice. 
  2. To introduce provisions to confirm how academies causing concern will be dealt with. In summary this is to add powers for the DfE to issue warning notices requiring improvements and subsequently to terminate a funding agreement if improvements are not made.

Attempts in the Lords to amend the bill to require greater consultation of parents, teachers and governors before a school converts to academy status were narrowly defeated. Communication rather than consultation wins the day.

Even so, it is interesting that the duty to communicate plans to improve schools only applies on a maintained school conversion not when an academy is failing and will be taken on by another provider by an academy to academy transfer. The Minister have made various assurances that failing academies are being dealt with and new providers found, but the difference in the legislation remains a source of contention for some authorities and others who are sceptical about the academies programme.

The main point of interest throughout the bill has been the concept of "coasting schools". In summary coasting schools are schools "where performance data shows that, year on year, they are failing to ensure their pupils reach their potential".  Remember that the deadline for responses to the consultation is 5pm on 18 December 2015.

You can have your say via this link.

For more details and our comment on the Bill, please see our previous article here

18 December 2015

 

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this article further, please contact Tim Wrigley on 0113 244 6100.

You can also keep up to date by following Wrigleys Schools team on Twitter here

The information in this article is necessarily of a general nature. Specific advice should be sought for specific situations. If you have any queries or need any legal advice please feel free to contact Wrigleys Solicitors

 

 

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Tim Wrigley

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