It is every school’s own choice (unless required to do so as a result of an OFSTED inspection) as to whether they would like to academise. Local discussions alongside those with the Regional Schools’ Commissioner provide useful perspectives and questions.
Nadim Zahawi, the Secretary of State for Education, notes that he will not set an ‘arbitrary’ deadline or timeline for structural change to the school system. In December 2021, he pledged to bring forward a white paper to Spring 2022 and noted that it would ensure, ‘strong schools with excellent leaders and robust systems.’
On 14 January 2022 the Confederation of School Trusts reported on the outcome of consultation with regard to how local authority school improvement functions are funded. It stated,
The government has now published its response to the consultation on reforming how local authority school improvement functions are funded.
The local authority role in school improvement has changed significantly in recent years, with the growth of multi-academy trusts, putting school improvement in the hands of the strongest trusts and school leaders. In turn, the local authority role in school improvement in maintained schools is increasingly focused on helping their schools access the support they need from the school system.
Government has therefore decided to:
- reduce the grant by 50% for the financial year 2022-23 and bring it to an end in FY 2023-24; and
- include provision in Part 7 of Schedule 2 to the School and Early Years Finance (England) Regulations for FY 2022-23 which would allow councils to de-delegate for all improvement expenditure, including all core improvement activities.
The DfE has undertaken to monitor the impact of the changes during the year.
All schools, be they Single Academy Trusts, Community, Voluntary Aided or Voluntary Controlled schools are is welcome to apply to be a part of DHMAT.