07 May 2016, The Tablet

Nicky Morgan: Catholic schools will not be forced into academisation

The government U-turn means Catholic schools can choose whether they want to become academies

Plans to force all schools - including Catholic schools - to become academies by 2022 is being abandoned after the government announced a repeal of its policy.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said yesterday that schools could choose to convert to academies, but it would no longer be obligatory. The move comes just days after threats of industrial action by head teachers.

Academies are independently run - but state-funded - schools, overseen by a not-for-profit business, known as an academy trust. They are often part of a chain.

Shadow Education Secretary Lucy Powell told the BBC: "It is frankly a humiliating climbdown for David Cameron and his education secretary, who just weeks ago were insisting they would plough on with the policy regardless."

Just two weeks ago the government pledged to protect the religious character of Catholic schools under academisation with a Memorandum of Understanding developed by the Catholic Education Service (CES) and the Department for Education. The document established the CES as a national-level watchdog and enshrined the role of diocesan education commissions as main conduits for discussions between the government and Church.



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