As schools are given more freedom, it becomes more, not less, important that they are effectively held to account.
Schools have been given increasing freedom since they gained control over their budgets and staffing in the late 1980s. Councils no longer ‘control’ schools and have no desire to do so.
The growing number of academies directly accountable to ministers in Whitehall has accelerated this trend, creating a two-tier system of accountability, with the majority of schools still accountable to democratically elected local councils, but more than 4,000 able to opt out of local scrutiny and decision making.
As schools are given more freedom, it becomes more, not less, important that they are effectively held to account. We do not believe that Whitehall has either the capacity or the local knowledge to exercise the oversight of academies and take the swift action that parents have a right to expect when standards start to slip.
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