No rules over who qualifies

7th October 2005 at 01:00
There are no fixed rules for deciding which schools can become academies, the Department for Education and Skills admitted this week.

A DFES spokesman said proposals were considered on a case-by-case basis.

"There are no hard and fast rules," he said. "There are many factors that are looked at." These included a school's performance at GCSE, inspection reports, its popularity with parents, the proportion of pupils receiving free school meals and levels of special needs.

The sheer variety of schools replaced so far underline the scope that the DfES has to approve proposals. Three thriving city technology colleges are included, as are others inspectors said were doing a good job in difficult circumstances.

Ministers' tendency to characterise the replaced schools as "failing" has left their former staff seething. Gordon Potter, former deputy head at Coulby Newham school, Middlesbrough, which was never failing, said: "I remain angry every time I hear the work of my former school being rubbished."

Gill Reed, former deputy head of science at Willesden high, Brent, north London, said: "Our school achieved real successes against the odds."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today