Plan A: unleashing the potential of academies

Document type
Bassett, Dale; Lyon, Gareth; Tanner, William
Date of publication
1 March 2012
Education and Skills
Social welfare
Material type

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The Coalition Government has allowed any school to convert to academy status and there are now over 1,500 academies in England, with more control over their budget and freedom from the National Curriculum and national pay and conditions. There is a substantial body of evidence to show that giving schools more autonomy can have a positive effect on education outcomes. The Government’s task now is to unleash the full potential of the academies movement. Despite their greater freedoms, many academies are being held back by the continued regulation of the rest of the school system. As the survey presented in this report shows, national frameworks on curriculum and pay and conditions inhibit some academies from innovating in these areas. The Department for Education should adopt a “Plan A+” (Autonomy-Plus). By removing cultural and regulatory barriers to autonomy and innovation, the Government can pave the way for all schools to innovate further and faster, rapidly developing best practice to raise standards that can then spread throughout the system.

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