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Hinds urges academies to listen to local communities

Education secretary asks academies to 'value the input of the local community and to ensure that they help to inform trust decision making'

damian hinds

Education secretary asks academies to 'value the input of the local community and to ensure that they help to inform trust decision making'

The education secretary has urged academies to listen to their local communities and use their feedback to inform decision making. 

Damian Hinds made the comments at a summit of academy trusts, hosted in partnership with the Confederation of School Trusts at the Department for Education. 


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The DfE said that during the meeting, the education secretary discussed with trusts how they could build "stronger ties with local governing bodies to ensure they are working in the interests of their pupils, local communities and teaching staff".

The department said Mr Hinds "has asked schools to value the input of the local community and to ensure that they help to inform trust decision making".

"Many academy trusts already involve parents closely in the running of their schools, such as Compass Partnership of Schools, which runs eight schools in Greenwich, London," it added.

"The trust has set up a parent forum, with each of the schools in the trust having two parent representatives on the forum – giving school leaders regular insight into the views and wishes of parents."

Concerns have been raised in the past about the growth of academy trusts reducing the influence of parents over schools

When a school joins a MAT, its governors lose their legal powers and responsibilities, which are transferred to the trustees of the academy chain.

At the beginning of the year, the DfE published figures showing that more than 50 per cent of pupils in state-funded schools in England are now studying in an academy or free school.

Mr Hinds told the summit: “I recently called for more schools to choose to become an academy to benefit from the freedom and autonomy they enjoy, and because you – school leaders – are best-placed to make the right decisions for schools and their pupils.

“Since 2010, academies have been at the forefront of our efforts to transform the quality of education in this country, I want to schools to choose to make the move to become an academy and take advantage of the huge benefits it can offer to schools, staff and pupils.”

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