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Academies 'should be universal'

22/07/2009 Joanna
Privately-sponsored academies should be rolled-out across the UK to improve school standards, says a new government report on social mobility.
Alan Milburn, the former health secretary and author of the Unleashing Aspiration report, said that primary school academies should also be introduced for the first time.
Mr Milburn complained of a "chasm" in society that prevents bright pupils from working or middle-class backgrounds performing as well as their better-off peers, those with teaching jobs may be interested to read.
He recommended reforms of the current and Gifted and Talented programme that would see provide bright students provided with mentors, work experience and "soft-skills" development.
Army cadet schemes could also be introduced to state schools, said the report, to improve pupils' confidence and add to pupils' career options.
A central New Labour policy introduced in 2000, academies see private sponsors supply £2 million towards building costs while the government funds the rest of the project.
Sponsors are generally found from local businesses, faith or voluntary groups.
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