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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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Should all state schools become academies?

The Duel


In this year’s Budget, George Osborne announced that all schools in England must become academies by 2020. Some teaching unions believe there is little evidence that academies perform better than those schools under local authority control. Should academy status be compulsory?

YES The best argument for converting local authority schools to academies is that it shifts power over what’s taught and how away from politicians and towards headteachers and school governors.

Many critics of academies point to a lack of evidence that they outperform local authority schools, but those that have converted to academies so far weren’t selected at random so it’s impossible to make meaningful comparisons. However, international evidence compiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development suggests granting more autonomy to taxpayer-funded schools raises standards, provided you have the right regulatory regime.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s May issue: Simon Taylor and Bronwen Maddox on why Hinkley Point C is an expensive gamble that might not pay off. Philip Collins examines Iain Duncan Smith’s tenure as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and Lionel Shriver reveals why she stopped fighting being female. Alan Rusbridger responds to last month’s piece on the Guardian by Stephen Glover. Also in this issue: Nicholas Soames says there’s no such thing as "Project Fear” and Howard Davies reviews Melvyn King’s new book and suggests that we are vulnerable to another financial crisis. Plus Ruth Dudley Edwards examines the fading myths of the Easter Rising and Owen Hatherley suggests it’s time to look for a Plan B to solve London’s housing issues.