Commenting on new research commissioned by the Local Government Association, Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
"These findings demonstrate the value of a democratically organised and supported school system.
"The LGA’s recommendations are sensible and important. Allowing local authorities to open new maintained schools would boost their ability to respond to demographic changes by opening quality provision. There is also a pressing need for greater local democratic oversight and coordination of admissions. Giving councils the power to direct all schools including academies to take in pupils would make our system fairer and more equitable and help ensure vulnerable pupils’ needs are met.
"The findings also highlight the inherent harm of the Government’s push to full academisation within multi-academy trusts (MATs). This agenda is not at all evidence-led but relies on misrepresentations about the performance of academies compared to maintained schools. (1)
"Academisation has created a fragmented and wasteful school system, with huge duplication of roles and money wasted on centralised MAT bureaucracy.
"It would be a step in the right direction if the LGA’s recommendations are enacted by this or any future government which is serious about improving our school system and making it fairer and more equitable."
NEU analysis of Government case for full academisation set out in the 2022 Schools White Paper conclusively demonstrated this: https://neu.org.uk/latest/library/governments-flawed-case-fully-trust-led-system