DfE: Next steps to spread educational excellence everywhere announced: announces changes to the Government's policy that every school should become an academy by 2022. The Education Secretary has now stated that the Government will not introduce legislation to bring about blanket conversion of all schools to achieve this goal; instead, measures will target those schools where the need to move to academy status is most pressing. All schools within a local authority will be converted in two specific circumstances:

  • where it is clear that the local authority can no longer viably support its remaining schools because a critical mass of schools in that area has converted. Under this mechanism a local authority will also be able to request the DfE converts all of its remaining schools; or
  • where the local authority consistently fails to meet a minimum performance threshold across its schools, demonstrating an inability to bring about meaningful school improvement.

For other high-performing schools in strong local authorities the choice of whether to convert will remain the decision of the individual schools and governing bodies in question. (6 May 2016)

LGA: LA maintained schools and academies: this report considers alternative methods of data presentation and analysis to assess the performance of LA maintained schools, and of academies. It has been produced in light of the DfE's stated aim to end the statutory role that councils have in managing local school performance and improvement, and to convert all local authority maintained schools to academies by 2022. The analysis shows that LA maintained schools continue to perform more highly in Ofsted inspections than academies. Council leaders are now calling on the Government to withdraw plans to force all schools to become academies by 2022, and allow schools to choose for themselves the most appropriate ways to improve education for their pupils. (25 April 2016)

Ofsted: The framework for the inspection of local areas’ effectiveness in identifying and meeting the needs of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities: this framework sets out the key inspection principles for local area inspections of responsibilities for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). It should be read alongside the inspectors' Handbook. (27 April 2016)