Latest Public Sector News

26.09.16

Councils face ‘significant financial challenge’ if all schools convert to academies

Government proposals to convert all schools to academies will cost councils £320m, the LGA has warned.

An LGA survey of its members found that if the government adopts the ‘sponsored’ method of multi-academy trusts, it will cost £320m because any debt built up by schools will remain with councils when they convert.

Even with the ‘converter’ method, where schools operate as a stand-alone organisation and sometimes take on their debt, councils would lose £120m.

Cllr Richard Watts, chair of the LGA's children and young people board, said: “If all schools are encouraged to become academies at some point, this will have significant financial implications for councils.

“The money that councils are predicted to lose could be better spent on recruiting, training and keeping excellent teachers, and making sure children are safe and have the equipment and support they need, in buildings that are fit for purpose.”

In addition, councils say they will lose £80m a year in business rates, because academies receive an 80% business rates relief.

The LGA was strongly opposed to proposals in the March Budget for every school to become an academy. Nicky Morgan, the then education secretary, eventually backed away from the proposals.

However, the Queen’s Speech in May included an Education for All Bill, which was described as designed to “move towards a system where all schools are academies” by granting the government new legal powers to force schools in the worst-performing local authorities to become academies.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Collaborative working is the key to the future at home and abroad

Collaborative working is the key to the future at home and abroad

David Hawkins, operations director at the Institute for Collaborative Working (ICW), on why ISO 44001 is a new evolution in collaborative working. The past 12 months have seen seismic changes b more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

An integrated approach to greening public transport

28/04/2017An integrated approach to greening public transport

Dave Pearson, director of transport services at West Yorkshire Combined Aut... more >
Unlocking the combination to criminal justice reform

28/04/2017Unlocking the combination to criminal justice reform

If new mayors want to improve the life chances of their communities, help t... more >

interviews

Maintaining the momentum for further devolution

25/04/2017Maintaining the momentum for further devolution

Ahead of this year’s mayoral elections, Lord Kerslake, the former hea... more >

most read

Shared Services and Outsourcing Week

the raven's daily blog

Engaging voters ahead of May’s elections

24/04/2017Engaging voters ahead of May’s elections

Emma Hartley, head of campaigns at the Electoral Commission, discusses the importance of a collaborative approach to engage voters ahead of this year’s elections.  ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

11/04/2017A watershed moment in British politics

The government has now officially triggered Article 50, formally starting the process of Britain’s exit from the EU. How this will affect local government, the wider public sector and the Civil Service remains to be seen, but the likelihood of it being plain sailing with the enormity of the task ahead seems rather unlikely.  It is, therefore, quite appropriate that in this edition of PSE Professor Chris Painter reflects on the profound changes that have taken place in the... read more >