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News - 10 March 2014

OECD: Academies a promising trend

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) education expert, Andreas Schleicher, told The House of Commons Education Select Committee that the most successful education systems combine local autonomy for schools with strong public accountability.

The flexibility of individual schools needed to be balanced by a strong culture of transparency and accountability, he told MPs who were taking his evidence in its inquiry into academies and free schools in England.

Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS and an active school governor comments:
“Mr Schleicher gave his broad endorsement of the academy system in England, where state-funded schools are given more control over their budgets and flexibility over their curriculum. But he also warned that autonomy on its own was not a way of improving schools. He pointed to the example of the United States as evidence that more autonomy could be "part of the solution or else part of the problem".”

"You need a very strong education system to make autonomy work, you can't leave it to market forces alone," he told MPs.

There have been recent disputes over whether providers that use public funding to run academy chains should face greater accountability. Sir Michael Wilshaw, the head of Ofsted, argues that there should be inspections of academy chains in the way that inspectors can scrutinise local authorities - a proposal that the government has resisted.

Another problem facing schools in England, Mr Schleicher said was that as well as poorer results from disadvantaged pupils, many schools serving privileged areas failed to reach their potential.

If you need any help and advice with Free Schools, Academy Schools or Charities, contact Lavinia Newman or Peter Ham now to discuss how ABDS can help bring their experience to these matters.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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