Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU) has commented on the report of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) into converting schools to academies.

“The NEU welcomes this report from the Public Accounts Committee, and agrees with its recommendations. The report it is a damning indictment of the Department for Education’s flagship education policy, pursued since 2010 under both the Coalition and Conservative Governments, and the failures identified cannot be resolved by tinkering with an academy system which is inherently flawed, unaccountable and causing serious damage to England’s education system.

“The scale of academy trust failures has been shocking and the PAC is right to highlight that children’s education has paid the heaviest price, along with taxpayers who have had to pick up the significant costs of academy re-brokering. It is also good that the PAC has raised the lack of transparency for parents in academies.

“The NEU believe that academies should be required to cooperate with local councils on school place planning and admissions and the DfE should ensure this takes place. We agree with the suggestion that the DfE should contribute to the costs which local authorities incur when schools become academies - sums for which they are largely not reimbursed - and reduces the services and support councils can continue to offer to maintained schools.”


Note to editors:

The NEU’s response to the PAC inquiry on academies is available here