Responding to the publication today of Unleashing Greatness, a report by the Academies Commission, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“Much of the analysis and recommendations in this report reflect the Union’s long-standing concerns about the academies programme.
“The Academies Commission has rightly recognised the failure of the Government to establish any relationship whatsoever between its academies programme and its stated intention to raise standards of educational achievement.
“As the NASUWT has continued to make clear, there is no link between academisation and ensuring that all children and young people can make the most of their potential as learners. The Academies Commission report provides powerful confirmation of this truth.
“The Commission’s report also highlights the genuine risks to fairness and equity created by the Government’s headlong rush to academise the education system.
“In particular, the focus by the Commission on the wholly unacceptable manipulation of admissions processes to covertly select pupils exemplifies the unfairness and inequity inherent in so many of this Government’s education and social policies.
“As the Commission emphasises, many of these inappropriate practices in the academy sector have become embedded because of the lack of democratic oversight and public scrutiny to which academies are subject. The Commission is to be applauded for calling for an end to this ‘secret garden’.
“At the very least this report should give Ministers reason to pause for thought, reflect upon the recklessness of their academies programme and instead work with all those with a stake in the education system to develop a fairer, more effective and genuinely accountable alternative.”
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