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The government has confirmed that it will not now publish the Education for All Bill, which could have seen good schools forced to convert to academy status.
In a statement to the House of Commons on Thursday, Justine Greening, the secretary of state for education, said that while her Department’s ambition remains for more schools to convert to academy status, the focus for now will be “building capacity in the system and encouraging schools to convert voluntarily” adding, “No changes to legislation are required” to achieve this.
Deputy Chief Executive, Gillian Allcroft, welcomed the announcement: “We are extremely pleased that the Secretary of State has listened to our concerns, shared by many in the Education sector, about this proposal. Where schools are performing well, governing bodies are best placed to decide what is best for their schools and pupils, including whether converting to academy status is the most effective way to improve pupils’ education.”
This marks Ms Greenings’ second major departure from the White Paper Educational Excellence Everywhere published by her predecessor, Nicky Morgan, earlier this year. In September Ms Greening announced that she would not be pursuing plans to remove the requirement for elected parent places on academy boards.