Many local residents have contacted me with concerns about a Government ‘White Paper’ which suggests that all schools will be forced to become academies by 2022.

In this constituency all of the senior schools are academies and a third of the primary schools by choice and I know that a number of the primaries are looking at becoming academies soon.

I do not think that schools have anything to fear from academisation but understand that some people are understandably protective over good and outstanding schools. Schools do benefit from the autonomy and strong accountability of academy status and academies give excellent leaders and teachers more freedom to deliver a great education. Having said that, I do believe that local authorities have an important role to play in some good and outstanding schools.

I am on the Education Select Committee and last week I questioned Nicky Morgan, the Secretary of State for Education about this exact subject. I said to her that I thought that Councils could play a role, perhaps as the academy sponsor. Here are the links if you would like to watch me questioning her:

To ensure that the Secretary of State is clear about my idea, which I think would be the best of both worlds, I have also written to her to expand on my idea further. CLICK HERE to read that letter.

A ‘White Paper’ is more of an idea than draft legislation so I am sure that there will be significant changes before any votes are had or any laws passed and I hope that there is some flexibility which will allow good local councils to play a full role in good and outstanding schools.

I have also written to the Chancellor asking for him to address the unintended consequence of the decision to allow 6th form colleges to become academies, CLICK HERE for more information.