The Government ‘out-Goves’ Gove with this policy

The trouble with this solution is that it reinforces the 'local authority maintained school bad - academies and free schools good' mentality

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The Independent Online

The spirit of Michael Gove is alive and well and still living within the heart of Conservative Party education policy.

Today's expected announcement from Prime Minister David Cameron and new Education Secretary Nicky Morgan almost out-Goves Gove in giving sweeping powers to newly selected Regional Commissioners of education to fast-track compelling failing schools to become academies.

Of course, in the case of a school declare "inadequate" by education standards watchdog Ofsted measures must be taken - and speedily - to ensure an improvement in standards. That is doubly true in cases like some of the "Trojan Horse" schools in Birmingham where extreme Islamic views are being imposed on a school .

However, the trouble with today's solution is that it reinforces the "local authority maintained school bad - academies and free schools good" mentality that characterised much of the Gove era.

There are other solutions including giving time to  a headteacher who may not be solely responsible for a school's slide to turn a school round without resorting to compulsory academisation. Some local authorities also have a good track record in supporting schools with a poor Ofsted report.

Of course, it could be argued that the regional commissioners will be sophisticated enough to realise that - but  there is no doubt that the mood message from today's announcement is that they would be expected to recommend the route of compulsory academisation, a move which is likely to inflame teacher opinion.

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