Will the Cabinet Member for Education and Health Reform advise what steps he will take to ensure that Kent pupils will continue to benefit from a good education at those schools which have previously chosen and performed well enough to remain under Kent County Council's control and which will soon be forced to become Academies?
There has been a good rate of improvement in the quality and performance of Kent schools. Currently 85.1% of schools have been judged by Ofsted to be good or better. Of these 72% (337) are LA maintained schools and 28% (131) are academies.
There are 391 LA maintained schools with an Ofsted judgement, of these:
There are 159 academies with an Ofsted judgement, of these:
The recently published White Paper 'Educational Excellence Everywhere' (March 2016) makes it clear that the role of local authorities will change given an expectation that all schools will become academies by 2022. Local authorities will continue to play an important role in ensuring that every child has a school place, and that the needs of all children are met. They will also continue to act as champions for all parents and families. However, over time local authorities will step back from school improvement as that responsibility will be devolved to a school-led system and Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) overseen by the Regional Schools Commissioner.
In Kent, we continue to monitor, support and challenge all maintained schools to ensure that all Kent children benefit from a good education. We also monitor standards in academies and, where there are concerns, raise these with the Regional Schools Commissioner. This role will continue to be pursued robustly in the future.