‘Inadequate’ schools to become academies by summer term, DfE reveals

Schools judged inadequate by Ofsted will be converted into academies as early as the start of the summer term, according to the government.

The Department for Education spelled out the timescale as it opened a consultation on new powers to intervene in underperforming schools.

The measures are contained within the Education and Adoption Bill, which is currently making its way through Parliament.

Any school with an inadequate rating from the inspectorate will be automatically converted into an academy, while schools classed as “coasting” and those that fail to comply with a warning notice will also be eligible for intervention.

The consultation states that schools will be deemed to be “coasting” if they fail to hit a mixture of both achievement and progress targets over a three-year period. Where a school is branded as coasting, and fails to demonstrate it has a sufficient improvement plan, it will be converted into an academy.

Announcing the consultation today, education secretary Nicky Morgan claimed “enemies of academies” were using “underhand tactics” to block academy sponsors from taking over struggling schools.

The new powers within the new legislation would aim to “sweep aside” such opposition, Ms Morgan said.

“For too long campaigners have deployed underhand tactics, spread malicious rumours and intimidated parents in order to deny children the opportunity of success,” she added. “Our new measures will allow teachers to get on with the job of improving failing schools and deliver on our commitment to extend opportunity and deliver real social justice.”

The NUT teaching union hit back by claiming it was the Education Bill itself that was “intimidating and underhand”, adding that the DfE had “plumbed new depths” under Ms Morgan.

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