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

Parliament cannot solve homelessness through legislation alone

Parliament cannot solve homelessness through legislation alone

Cllr Michelle Lowe, deputy leader and cabinet member for housing and health at Sevenoaks District Council, argues that if the government is really serious about combating homelessness they will work more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Time to embrace change

01/03/2017Time to embrace change

The way we work is changing. As a profession, we must be ready to embrace i... more >
Digital Marketplace: reaching far and wide in the public sector

01/03/2017Digital Marketplace: reaching far and wide in the public sector

Over the next few months, the Government Digital Service (GDS) wants to get... more >

interviews

Leading transformational change through procurement

01/03/2017Leading transformational change through procurement

Liz Welton, chair of the Society of Procurement Officers in Local Governmen... more >

the raven's daily blog

Why opening up procurement matters to the UK public sector

22/03/2017Why opening up procurement matters to the UK public sector

Rob Levene, managing director of Bloom, explains why opening up procurement is important to the UK public sector.  Procuring products and services by the UK public s... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

21/02/2017Untapped potential

As PSE went to press, the government had just released its Industrial Strategy green paper, which has an ambitious aim to “improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country”.  Overall, the strategy was welcomed across the public sector. However, as you’ll read throughout this edition of the magazine, in order to make the aspirations a reality, there needs to be a greater level of freedom for all... read more >