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Budget 2016: England To Make Every School An Academy; Special Schools Unspecified In Document

Spring Hill Library, with clock tower — in Birmingham. A red Brick and Terracotta Gothic styled Library, designed by Martin and Chamberlain and completed in 1893

Budget 2016 will compel every school in England to become academies. This action could set the local authorities free from the responsibility of providing education.

According to an official document released last autumn, this move is the government’s next step towards its objective of ending the role of local authorities in running schools, and for all schools to become academies,  Belfast Telegraph reported.

Budget 2016 proposal owes much to Policy Exchange that proposed the mass conversion of the remaining local authority schools to become academies, recommending the change for the mainstream schools, however, did not discuss anything about special schools.

In fact, the local authorities have not been able to run a single mainstream school since the early 1990s. Rather, they only managed and offered them with the services of the back office. The main benefits of academy status to school leaders include exemption from the national pay regulations for the teachers and from the national curriculum.

Hence, this could end the national pay scales and the national curriculum. Because of this, the proposals earned criticisms by local authorities, unions and by the Labor party in England.

In addition, a few issues about the implementation were also cited. One of which is the lack of good academy chains. Chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw expressed his worry about the current calls for  schools support services and a few remaining school chains that are significantly weak.

The proposal may also generate plenty of work for the Department of Education, given that it has struggled enough with its current workload. Since 2010, the department’s responsibility has started from being a strategic body to making rules for individual schools. The capabilities of its personnel have not kept up.

Budget 2016 proposal will compel the Department of Education to move with its plans to resolve a lot of awkward funding issues, like the level it should fund a small school or the schools that have expensive private finance transactions. Right now, the local authorities are dealing with these issues, The Guardian reported.

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