Sir David Davis comments on the Government’s plans to convert all England’s state schools to academies


The Government has indicated that it will reconsider its plans, published last month, to convert all England’s state schools to academies, run by trusts rather than councils, by 2022. The Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has suggested that it will be made easier for councils to form their own multi-academy trusts, making it more likely that some schools will remain under the governance of local councils.

In response to the move, Sir David Davis said:

“While there is no doubt that the Government’s Academy programme has been a significant success, helping to raise school standards across the country and in particular in those areas that most need it, I am concerned that the Government is now seeking to impose the academy structure on all schools across the country.

The Government should think long and hard about this step which will likely be extremely costly, and may lead to many smaller schools closing down. Rural schools in particular will be placed under great strain as they are forced to negotiate the lengthy and complex academisation procedure.

This ‘one size fits all’ approach is particularly unsuited to rural and coastal areas, and the Government’s proposals to help local councils run academy chains does nothing to address these concerns.

I would urge the Government to be very careful not to overreach, and undermine what has been a successful drive to improve education standards in our schools, and I have written to the Secretary of State to express my concerns.”