Councillors say academies may not suit schools

Dame Sharon Hollows, principal of Charter Academy in Portsmouth ''Picture: Sarah Standing (150592-2959)
Dame Sharon Hollows, principal of Charter Academy in Portsmouth ''Picture: Sarah Standing (150592-2959)

Ofsted labels Southsea school ‘outstanding’ in new report

  • Prime Minister said all schools should become academies to improve
  • Concerns raised by councillors over whether it would work for all schools
  • Leadership is most important thing, says councillor Peter Edgar
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EDUCATION leaders have said they will back schools that convert to academies – as long as it is right for the local community.

They spoke out after Prime minister David Cameron said he believed all schools should become academies in order to improve.

It’s about what the governing body thinks is right for the children

Councillor Neill Young

But locally, councillors have said it will only work if it is the right thing to do for the school.

Academy schools in England are directly-funded by the Department for Education and independent of local authority control. But many in Hampshire still choose to work with the local authority.

Councillor Neill Young, who is in charge of education at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘From my perspective, anything that improves education for children can only be a good thing.

‘We have seen in Portsmouth some excellent results from some of our academies – Charter Academy being an example.

‘We’re very lucky that we have an excellent relationship with our academies. We’re very clear that we are educating Portsmouth children.

‘This could be a very good thing to see more academies but it does depend on the detail. It’s about what the governing body thinks is right for the children.’

Councillor Peter Edgar is in charge of education at Hampshire County Council.

He said: ‘It depends on what’s best for the area. It’s the leadership in the schools that counts.

‘What matters is for the school to have positive, motivational leadership and the school becomes a success.

‘We have always looked on our schools as a family. We have a very good relationship with most of our academies.

‘Most of them use some or all of our services because they think they’re the best quality at the right price.

‘But if they do become an academy, they will still be part of our family of schools.’