The Chancellor, George Osborne has announced today as part of the Budget that all schools must become academies by 2020 or have plans to do so by 2022. Any school that fails to do so would be managed by the government.
Following recent investment for academy conversion 61% (2,075/3,381) of secondary schools are now academies. However, only 15% of primary schools (2,440/16,766) currently have academy status. Leading figures expressed that this change will require considerable structural changes and support over the next four years for schools needing to convert. The Chancellor’s plans only apply to schools in England with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland being responsible for their own education systems.
He promised to set aside a £1.5bn in funds for schools to use to provide an extra five hours’ teaching or activities each week. This was part of the Chancellor’s strategy to improve Britain’s position in the world education league tables.
“I also want to support secondary schools that want to offer their pupils longer school days with more extra-curricular activities like sport and art. So we’ll fund longer school days for at least 25% of all secondary schools.”
It will be the choice of the school to decide on whether they opt to receive this money and offer extra activities, but it will be compulsory for the students of that school to attend if this decision is taken. The Chancellor intends to fund the extra activities by bringing in a tax on fizzy drinks. The activities will include extra sporting activities in primary schools and after-school activities in secondary schools.
His focus on improving school performance continued by pledging £500m to schools to address funding imbalances, especially across the North and the decision to review the need to make Maths compulsory until 18.
The reforms for education are expected to be discussed in more length by the education secretary, Nicky Morgan, when she opens the debate in the House of Commons tomorrow. She is also appearing on BBC’s Question Time tomorrow evening where education will no doubt be the focus.
If you need support in converting to an Academy, FusionHR can offer an Academy conversion HR support package. This will provide guidance as to the HR process required when transferring employees under TUPE and advice for managing consultations with employees and representatives. Call 01924 827869 or email firstname.lastname@example.org