The Tory-controlled East Riding Council has welcomed a Government U-turn on the “blanket” conversion of all schools into academies.
Councillor Julie Abraham, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s portfolio holder for children, young people and education, said forcing all schools to become academies “would have been a huge distraction from the job of teaching our children and young people.”
It comes after David Cameron laid out his vision for all schools to become academies by 2022.
Cllr Abraham told the Free Press: “I am pleased that the Secretary of State for Education has listened to the concerns of many constituent groups over proposals to force all schools to become academies.
It has always been the stance in the East Riding that if schools wish to academise we will support them, but that decision, for good and outstanding schools, should be theirs to make.
“Enforced academisation would have been a huge distraction from the job of teaching our children and young people and running our schools, as well as being very costly financially.
“We do not yet know whether other parts of the White Paper may also be dropped, but this is a very significant step in the right direction.”
Cllr Abraham, along with the leader of the East Riding Council, Stephen Parnaby, OBE, and Cllr Kerri Harold, chairman of young people overview and scrutiny committee, had all written to education secretary, Nicky Morgan, expressing concern over the Tory governments academy plans.
The East Riding Council was particularly worried about the impact academisation would have on smaller schools in villages and rural areas.