NAHT: Academy status not a silver bullet

NAHT: Academy status not a silver bullet

NAHT: Academy status not a silver bullet

Tony Draper, national executive of the National Association of Head Teachers, questions whether academy status is always the right answer for underperforming schools:

"I believe strongly that it [academy status] is not a silver bullet. It's not the default response to everything. A school has got to be judged on broad measures of progress and not just crude statistics on attainment.

"I accept that it may be a quick fix but it might not be long term sustainability. We're looking at schools that are improving and are improving in many ways, making progress for the children throughout their school lives.

"If the school is making great progress with pupils from a low starting point then that should be celebrated, not condemned and the schools automatically made into academies.

"There has to be a bottom line in school performance and it can be said that if a school has made no progress after years and good support then maybe we should find a radical solution.

"But what we found in our school is that with good support from the local authority and working on the culture, teaching and learning, you can make a difference.

"You sit down with the local authority and you plan a way forward for the year that fits in with the needs of the school and the community that it serves.

"Let's not forget that children come from very different backgrounds and they have very different starting points in education. There are many schools where they don't achieve the floor standards but they are making good progress throughout their school lives."