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‘No one is advocating for the academies sector – it’s very beaten’

The academies system has become used to negative headlines – but it now has a champion to defend it. Step forward Leora Cruddas, chief executive of Fasna, an advocate of school autonomy who tells Martin George that giving power to school leaders is the most effective way to raise standards

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When a minister wants to know what the academy system wants, who do they call?

The suspicion is that at the moment only a small circle of favoured academy leaders has the ear of government.

But with the academy sector now responsible for the education of almost half of all pupils in England – and 2,700 academy trusts operating across the country, there appears to be no one to speak for the sector as a whole.

Leora Cruddas wants to change this. In September, she took over as chief executive of Fasna (Freedom and Autonomy for Schools – National Association), which has, in one guise or another, ...

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