DfE Told to Focus More on Academies

The Department for Education (DfE) has been urged to curb its powers over so-called ‘coasting’ academies, with critics raising concerns about the potential for central government interference in local education.

Under current regulations, the DfE can take control of a school deemed ‘underperforming’ – either by taking it out of local authority control or placing it into special measures. However, some educational experts have raised questions about why these powers should extend to academies that are doing well overall but not delivering outstanding results across all areas.

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In response, the DfE has argued that any intervention is necessary to ensure that all children receive an excellent education, regardless of their school’s performance. However, critics have raised concerns that such powers could be used to interfere with local education policies and are calling for the government to limit its intervention in cases where a school is deemed ‘coasting’.

The debate comes as more schools across England convert to academy status, giving them greater freedom from centralised control. Many believe this autonomy should be respected by the DfE when assessing whether or not to intervene in a school’s performance.


Given this context, the DfE must work with local authorities and academies to ensure that children receive an excellent education without sacrificing autonomy or accountability. It is also important that any decision on intervening in ‘coasting’ academies is made with the interests of pupils and parents in mind, not simply to satisfy government targets.

Ultimately, it is essential that any decision-making around ‘coasting’ academies is transparent and understandable to all stakeholders involved – the DfE must ensure an open dialogue with all parties before making any intervention decisions. Only then can we be sure that our children are receiving the best education without compromising autonomy or accountability.

What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue in the comments below.


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