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400 worst-performing primaries to be converted to academies

12/11/2012 Joanna
The government has announced new plans to turn 400 of the worst performing primary schools in England into academies.

David Cameron said that schools found to be the weakest will be paired up with sponsors by the end of the next academic year in order to improve standards.

According to the prime minister, the move will ensure that children do not find themselves struggling in under-performing and failing schools through no fault of their own.

However, concerns were raised by professionals in teaching jobs at a school in Derbyshire last week, after the government stepped in and made the decision to turn it into an academy to boost performance.

Teachers at Sinfin Community School took umbrage with the Department for Education's decision to replace the governors with an interim board to oversee the move to academy status, despite the fact that the local authority had already developed contingency plans to improve performance at the establishment.

Acquiring academy status can have a large impact on schools and anyone applying for teaching jobs at an institution. One of the major differences is that academies and their sponsors have more autonomy in setting pay and conditions for teachers, although in many cases, these will be identical to what is offered by local authorities.

The government has made a lot of its belief that academies outperform traditional state schools and Mr Cameron at a cabinet meeting in a Bristol school that the latest move would help the government build an "aspiration nation" founded on a top-rate education system.

He added: peaking at a PM Direct event, he said: "We have seen some excellent progress with our reforms, including turning 200 of the worst performing primary schools into sponsored academies, and opening more academies in the last two years than the previous government opened in a decade.

"Now we want to go further, faster, with 400 more under-performing primary schools paired up with a sponsor and either open or well on their way to becoming an academy by the end of next year."

Posted by Theo FouldsADNFCR-2164-ID-801486539-ADNFCR
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