Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Essex: Schools Commissioner says every school in county should join a trust

14:20 05 June 2014

Schools Commissioner says he wants every school in Essex to join a trust

Schools Commissioner says he wants every school in Essex to join a trust


The Schools Commissioner for England has said he would like every school in Essex to join a schools trust.


Speaking at a conference in Colchester of head teachers and governors from across the county, Frank Green said academy trusts resulted in, “the quality of leadership and the quality of teaching being spread across the whole rather than being retained in one organisation.”

He added: “Personally, I’d like to see all schools in trusts, whether they’re in academy trusts or other kinds of trusts.”

Academy trusts are composed of multiple schools governed by a single governing body with greater independence from the local authority, schools can also form federations which combine multiple schools under one board of governors.

Mr Green, who ran a chain of academies for five years, rejected the idea that schools were being put under pressure to convert to academy status, and said a drive to have 5,000 academies in England before the general election was an aspiration rather than a target.

“We’d like to beat it,” he said. “But there is no pressure on schools to become an academy. If it’s 4,700 or 5,500, nobody is going to mind too much.”

The conference was mainly composed of educationalists in the primary school sector. Currently, only 16% of primary schools in Essex are academies, compared to 83% of secondary schools.

Also speaking at the event was Tim Coulson, director for education and lifelong learning at Essex County Council, who said the academies programme was the most “significant strategy” for improving educational attainment in Essex.

During his speech at the conference Mr Green, who took up the role of Schools Commissioner in February, admitted the evidence of improved attainment at academies was “not as overwhelming as we’d like to see”, but said this was because “good evidence that is pure and not subject to other factors is quite difficult to get”.

However he said schools which had been academies for three years had improved their attainment in English and mathematics by 12%, compared to 5% for maintained schools in the same period.

“When you get a group of schools together that group of schools can transform a whole community in a way that is not possible for individual schools to do,” he said.

Mr Green also added that it was no bad thing that some school governors were being left behind as academy trusts demanded a more “professional” approach to running schools.

“Actually you get a different kind of governor,” he said. “You’re changing governance from being a cottage industry to a much more professional, still voluntary process.”

One head of a primary school in Colchester, who asked not to be named, expressed scepticism about the academies project. “The money that’s promised doesn’t always cover conversion and then continuance on that theme,” he said.

“It works for some; I don’t think it’s going to work for others. I think it’s all contextually based. I think pushes are politically driven in the area of education where really politics should be out of it.”



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

The police investigation centre in Martlesham.

One woman was taken to hospital and 20 other people into police custody today after they were discovered in a lorry container.

Man who appeared drunk in Sudbury taken to hospital.

A man was taken to hospital after he was seen staggering in a road in Sudbury.

Izzy Alder

Concern is growing for an 18-year-old woman who left her home to go to school this morning but did not arrive.

Tidal Surge around Suffolk's coast has caused major disruptions. Huge waves crash over sea defences in Southwold.

A predicted combination of high spring tides and strong winds from the north-west later this week has sparked a warning of potential flooding in coastal Suffolk.


Community leaders have chosen the organisation which will provide activities for the young people of a Suffolk market town as part of a £60,000-plus youth project.

Issy Mead celebrates Christmas

Each year, Stacy Mead proudly posts photos of her heavily adorned Christmas tree on Facebook, just like hundreds of other mum’s excitedly awaiting the arrival of that one magical day.

Government cuts could make the regular inspection of our waterways harder

This Government has been very keen to talk up its “difficult choices”.

Abellio Greater Anglia has warned that the services are expected to be disrupted until 7pm.

Trains between Norwich and London Liverpool Street may be delayed by up to 40 minutes.

Humber Doucy Lane, Ipswich.

A couple aged in their 70s were injured during a robbery at an Ipswich home.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24