All schools to be academies: What teachers need to know

WATCH: Gavin Williamson says the government's vision is for all schools to be part of multi-academy trusts. Here are his plans

John Roberts

Multi-academy trust expansion: Education secretary Gavin Williamson has revealed his plans to turn all schools into academies

Gavin Williamson has said the government's vision is for all schools to become part of multi-academy trusts.

The education secretary has made a series of announcements today aimed at getting more schools to move into MATs.

Here is everything you need to know from Mr Williamson's speech at the Confederation of School Trusts' annual conference today.


Gavin Williamson: Schools to get trial runs before joining academy trusts

Academies: Williamson wants 'far more schools' moving into MATs

CovidPandemic slows down academy trust growth


Schools moving into a multi-academy trust can 'try before they buy' 

Mr Williamson said that schools could "try before they buy" through a new process in which they form temporary partnerships with multi-academy trusts in order to see the benefits.

He added: "I see no reason why every local authority-maintained school in the country shouldn’t consider taking up this opportunity as soon as possible, to put them in the best position to decide whether joining a specific trust is right for them."

He said STEP multi-academy trust in South London and East Sussex was already using this approach.

The DfE wants to academise schools that are consistently rated less than 'good' by Ofsted

The education secretary also said he wants schools rated as "requires improvement" by Ofsted in three consecutive inspections to be turned into academies.

He said he would like these schools to be moved into "strong multi-academy trusts" and that it was "wrong" for schools to be in this position without action been taken.

Mr Williamson told the conference that more details on how this would be achieved will be announced in due course.

Funding to help MATs to expand

The DfE is putting £24 million into its Trust Capacity Fund to help school trusts to take on more academies in 2021-22

Mr Williamson said: "We especially want to support strong trusts, and strong schools forming trusts, so that they are better able to take on underperforming schools in areas of high need."

The DfE wants more church academy trusts and is creating a turnaround trust for Catholic schools

The DfE is launching a pilot programme, in partnership with the Church of England and the Catholic Church, to set up new church academy trusts, Mr Williamson revealed.

He also said the department was working with the Catholic Education Service and its dioceses to set up a new turnaround trust to specifically support Catholic schools in need of intensive support.

The DfE is updating academies handbook guidance

Mr Williamson also said that guidance for multi-academy trusts will be revised this year.

He added: "I am committed to see a system that brings the greatest benefits to the greatest numbers and to do this we need a clear regulatory framework that can support strong trusts. We also need to be able to address issues in the small number of cases where they arise.

"Providing clear guidance for trusts will support our vision for strong families of schools led by strong and effective governance, and this year the Academies Financial Handbook will be updated to bring greater clarity to our guidance."

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

Latest stories