Tinkering with schools no way to improve standards, says UNISON

Commenting on government proposals for all schools to become academies and have longer working days, UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said: “Forcing all schools to become academies will do little, if anything, to improve the quality of education.

“Many schools want to keep their links with local authorities and not be forced into academy trusts. Evidence shows improved standards are not guaranteed and financial problems can occur.

“The government constantly claims that changing schools to academies will automatically make them better. But many judged outstanding by Ofsted have seen standards decline since becoming academies, including a quarter of those inspected in 2015.

“Making the remaining 15,000 schools go down a similar route is neither guaranteed to improve teaching standards, nor ensure better financial management.

“Many schools already extend their day by providing breakfast, after school and homework clubs. Any extension to the school day needs to be properly planned and costed, and funds made available to all schools.

“This announcement is likely to mean yet more work for school staff who already work long hours, and will do nothing to improve morale.”