Education and Adoption Bill

The Education and Adoption Bill is currently making its way through the House of Lords. You can track its progress here

APF opposes the Education and Adoption Bill. The DfE has been forcing academy status on school communities against their wishes ever since the 2010 Academies Act significantly reduced the requirement to consult, but the proposed Education & Adoption Bill will give the Secretary of State new truly draconian powers.

Under the Bill the Secretary of State will be able to make an academy order and impose her choice of sponsor on schools eligible for intervention without any consultation whatsoever. Furthermore both the governing body and the local authority will be legally required to support the process, even if they believe it goes against the best interests of pupils. They will also be required by law to accept the DfE’s choice of sponsor regardless of valid objections, to work to an imposed timetable and even to employ the consultant specified by the Secretary of State.

The removal of consultation is covered in Clause 8 of the Bill.

Kevin Brennan MP has said of Clause 8;

Clause 8 represents an extraordinary departure from the normal processes of governmental decision making. The Secretary of State is empowered under this clause to make a decision without making any attempt whatever to listen to pupils, parents, teachers, governors, employers—anyone at all who might be thought to have some knowledge of the situation on the ground.

Analysis of the Bill by Henry Stewart of the Local Schools Network can be read here

A survey by PTA UK found that 97% of parents think parents and the local community should be consulted when big changes are made to how a school is run.