"All of Bexley's schools will become academies or federations in 3 years"
PUBLISHED: 09:36 27 June 2011 | UPDATED: 10:17 27 June 2011
»A teacher predicts that all of Bexley's schools will become academies or federations within the next three years.
Leader of the opposition group on Bexley Council Cllr Chris Ball, who is deputy headteacher at Horizon Primary School, Swanley, which is set to become an academy, said the decision to become an academy is enormous, but that some headteachers are making a rushed decision.
Bexley has eight secondary academies and one primary.
Three primaries are in the process of becoming academies as well as one secondary.
Cllr Ball said schools in Bexley are being approached “left, right and centre” to become academies and federations, in a bid to get more freedom from council control. Academies have the power to set their own curriculum, arrange budgets, decide staff budgets and working hours.
He said: “It is all a bit of a rush. Headteachers are thinking of going for it quickly and it is an enormous decision. Some of it is good, but do you want headteachers organising budgets or organising learning? I think that within three years all Bexley schools will become academies or federations.”
This comes after education secretary Michael Gove last week said that the 200 most underperforming primary schools in the country would become academies.
A spokesman for his department said it would not publish a list or confirm which schools are on the list, as the schools have yet to be approached by government officials.
Bexley Council says it believes it is unlikely any on the list are in the borough.
A spokesman said: “The 200 schools have not yet been formally identified. Based on the criteria publicised so far, we are not expecting any of them to be in Bexley.”