Budget 2016: Chancellor Announces Schools Shake Up

Experts Say Transition May Be Challenging For Schools


Kate Rawlings, Press Officer | 0114 274 4238

George Osborne has called for an extension to school days in England in his eighth Budget announcement.

The chancellor has also pledged that all schools in England will become academies and be removed from local authority control.

Legal experts at Irwin Mitchell say that whilst changes may be popular with working parents, schools will come under huge strain to fall in line with the changes if the funding is not adequate.

The Treasury has called for schools to have converted by 2020 or have an academy order in place by then, so that they are committed to converting by 2022.

The government will take on radical new powers to intervene and ensure academy conversion takes place, if schools fail to put a plan in place.

The Labour government originally introduced academy status for underperforming schools, but since 2010 they have been encouraged to convert and have been given extra funding if they do so.

Mr Osborne said Budget would "put the next generation first", with a "bold plan to make sure that every child gets the best start in life".

At present, 2,075 out of 3,381 secondary schools are academies, while 2,440 of 16,766 primary schools have academy status.

The plans will not apply to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, where the education policy is devolved.

Laurence Gavin, partner at Irwin Mitchell and education sector specialist, said:

Expert Opinion
“It is no surprise that the Governments wants to press on with the Academies programme.

“However, resourcing the flow of school conversions is tight already, involving stretched local authorities as well as the schools themselves.

“It will be interesting to see whether gaps will be plugged to keep up the momentum as this new wave of conversions kicks in.”

For more information about how we can help with employment law support and Academy conversions visit IM Educate.
Laurence Gavin, Partner