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It is too early to board the academy express

Roger Pope believes there are two possibe advantages in becoming an academy. The first is financial. It is true that one of the inducements the Education Secretary is offering is money removed from other schools, but this is a short-term gain.

The second advantage he sees is political. Really? An academy is a school under a seven-year renewable contract with the Secretary of State. But a future secretary might not be nearly so smiling and friendly as the present one. Kingsbridge might come to that future individual's notice as failing to meet his criteria. Without the need to consult anyone and with no appeal to anyone but himself, he might give notice that he will be terminating the contract with that institution.

Placing the future of a school in the hands of a single politician at the other end of a contract may not prove as prudent as Mr Pope and others suppose.

Peter Newsam, Former chief schools adjudicator, Pickering, North Yorkshire.

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