Ministers must to listen to the voice of the academy sector, the leader of a group that plans to become its representative has said.
Leora Cruddas, chief executive of Fasna, Freedom and Autonomy for Schools – National Association, today told its members how she wants to transform the organisation into “the leading voice for the school system’s leaders in England”.
And she told them that, as well as a taking a new direction, it should adopt a new name – which is yet to be decided.
Ms Cruddas, who took over as Fasna chief executive in September, first outlined her plans to transform it into the voice of the academy sector in Tes earlier this month.
She told today’s Fasna spring conference, which was also addressed by academies minister Lord Agnew, that “when government wants to talk to the sector, it currently approaches a few favoured CEOs”.
She added: “And left with no way of making or influencing policy, the DfE and regional schools commissioners are in many ways attempting to fill this gap.
“This is not a criticism. It is simply a response to the fact that we have not organised ourselves into such a representative body – a sector body.”
She told them that Fasna is “uniquely placed” to be the voice of the sector representing academy trusts, in the same way that the Association of Colleges speaks for the college sector, the CBI speaks for the business sector, and the NHS Confederation speaks for NHS trusts.
She added: “Our mission is to be the sector body – the leading voice for the school system’s leaders in England
“Our vision is to hold trust on behalf of children
“Our values put ethics at the heart of leadership.”
Ms Cruddas said she envisaged Fasna developing policy that would be adopted by the government in areas such as Ofsted inspections of academy trusts, the transfer of academies between different sponsors, and the governance of MATs.
She told the conference: “This is a brave new world. Let’s embrace it with optimism, energy and courage. And let our newly rebranded, reshaped and repositioned association be your partner on this journey.”