Derbyshire School Governors Association (DSGA) response to the Government’s white paper “Educational excellence everywhere”

All governors present at our last meeting were unanimously critical of the government’s proposal that local authorities would no longer maintain schools, and an all academy system would be created.

They were alarmed at the prospect of a huge structural upheaval as they struggle with the difficulties of recruiting and retaining teachers and a chronic cash shortage; and they also wonder where the new academy sponsors are likely to come from. All this when the evidence that the rapid expansion of academies over the past five years has delivered improving standards is, to say the least, inconclusive. Only recently, Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw warned Ms Morgan that some multi-academy trusts were replicating the failings of the worst local authorities.

The government recently announced a climb-down on its white paper proposals to force all schools into becoming academies by 2022. Instead, ministers plan to introduce new laws giving powers to trigger conversion of all schools in an area if a council is deemed as underperforming.

DSGA fears that Derbyshire may well be at more risk of forced academisation under the new proposals.