ADCS response: Academies regulatory and commissioning review

Chair of ADCS Educational Achievement Policy Committee, Heather Sandy said:

“The school accountability system has long been confused and incoherent with a lack of clarity around roles and responsibilities. ADCS welcomes the commitment from government to create a more coherent system, in collaboration with local authorities, schools and parents, where there is a greater focus on inclusivity. However, it remains unclear how the current plans as set out will help achieve the ambitions within the SEND and AP Improvement plan. Local authorities play a key role in education with regard to school standards, special educational needs, safeguarding, and children in care whilst being democratically accountable to our local communities. Despite this, we lack many of the powers to effect change in our local school system. The recently dropped Schools Bill would have provided local authorities with some of the levers we need to help ensure the system works for all children and young people, including those with special educational needs. Without these powers, it is not clear how meaningful change will be achieved.

“ADCS does not believe that academisation is a panacea for school improvement. It is important that schools are part of a high performing group, rooted in place; structural reform alone will not improve the system. Schools are accountable to their local communities and this must remain at the heart of our education system. ADCS has long been concerned that the academisation programme has led to a system that is incoherent and not placed in local communities. We urge government to adopt a more place-based approach that focusses on strengths and local accountabilities.”


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