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Gov U-turn over plan to make schools in England academies

Nicky Morgan says government still wants all schools in England to become academies but will not make it a law.

Nicky Morgan
Nicky Morgan’s announcement came after significant Tory backbench opposition. Photograph: Nick Ansell/PA

Controversial plans to force all state schools in England to become academies have been dropped in the wake of protests, only days after the education secretary, Nicky Morgan, insisted they would go ahead.

The Department for Education said on Friday that forced academisation by 2022 would not now be included in legislation, arguing: “It is not necessary to bring legislation to bring about blanket conversion of all schools to achieve this goal.”

In a statement, Morgan said: “I am today reaffirming our determination to see all schools become academies. However, having listened to the feedback from parliamentary colleagues and the education sector, we will now change the path to reaching that goal.”

Instead, the legislation to be unveiled in the Queen’s speech will include new powers for the DfE to force all schools in “underperforming” local authorities to convert to accademy status.

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