School boss criticises primary academies

Simon Cattermole
Simon Cattermole
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THE chairman of Portsmouth’s primary schools has slammed education secretary Michael Gove’s plans to turn the country’s 200 worst primaries into academies.

Simon Cattermole admitted action was necessary for schools whose pupils were not making good progress – but said academies were not a ‘magic silver bullet’.

In Portsmouth, Paulsgrove and Highbury primaries have been placed in special measures, which is the worst possible Ofsted category.

But Mr Cattermole does not believe they are in any immediate danger as Mr Gove is targeting schools that have underperformed for years.

He said: ‘I do not believe our schools in special measures have had a sustained period of underperformance. However I can’t see how turning schools into academies is that magic silver bullet that will suddenly make everything okay.

‘If you want to improve a school you invest in teacher training and new technology, explore innovative ways of teaching and learning, get pupils involved in planning and work with other schools.’