Academies

Department for Education written question – answered on 27th June 2022.

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Photo of Bridget Phillipson Bridget Phillipson Shadow Secretary of State for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the (a) value and (b) potential merits of the operating freedoms available to academy schools.

Photo of Bridget Phillipson Bridget Phillipson Shadow Secretary of State for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of provisions in the Schools Bill on the operating freedoms available to academy schools.

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, Minister of State (Education)

Academy trust freedoms include the autonomy for academy trusts to make decisions on matters such as financial governance, the school year and day, curriculum, staffing, and pay. These enable academy trusts to collaborate, innovate, and run themselves efficiently to support teachers and schools where the challenge is greatest to deliver the best outcomes for their pupils.

As set out in the Schools White Paper, the department knows the best multi-academy trusts transform outcomes for pupils, particularly the most disadvantaged, and deliver improvement in schools and areas where poor performance had become entrenched.

There are no provisions in the Schools Bill that undermine academy freedoms. The Schools Bill makes provisions for the Academy Trust Standards, which will bring together existing requirements currently set out across funding agreements, legislation, and the Academy Trust Handbook into a single statutory framework. This will bring greater clarity, understanding and reassurance to the sector, and will ensure the same minimum standards apply consistently to all academies now and in the future.

The department will consult with the sector on every iteration of the Academy Trust Standards regulations.

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