It’s sad that councils will lose control of all schools

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There is to be a major shift in the British education system as state schools become academies.

The government announced last week that every school which is overseen by its local authority will have those links scrapped within the next two years.

In recent years we have seen academies pop up around the country – several in Portsmouth.

In fact, there are more secondary schools in the country which are now academies, compared to those run by the state.

Under-performing schools are frequently forced to become an academy in order to improve.

In some cases we have seen substantial improvement.

Other schools have chosen to join an academy chain as they recognise the benefits of being an academy and are hungry to have more control over what they do.

So what does it actually mean to be an academy?

Well, the school itself has more of a say on how it spends its money.

The cash it receives comes directly from the government rather than being filtered through the local authority.

An academy also has control over the curriculum it teaches and the term times it sets.

You could argue that moving away from the state allows more room for manoeuvre.

When I was in secondary education in Portsmouth the school I attended was in the process of becoming an academy. By the time I left it was still overseen by Portsmouth City Council. But, I was given a taste of what the school could achieve if it had been an academy.

I understand there are schools which are performing at an outstanding level and now have no say on becoming an academy, which is a shame.

I feel the public are steadily losing control of what they currently possess. With privatisation it’s difficult to have an opinion until we have seen the evidence after several years.

Going back to the powers of an academy I do think they will be of benefit in major cities. The communities in which we live are now more diverse than ever.

Some schools have a reputation, both good and bad, compared to others. Therefore what they teach should accommodate the needs of those individuals in order for them to achieve.

Here in the Portsmouth area I understand academies are welcomed by many and I believe they will be good for our city.

However, it is sad the council will lose control over every school.