Academy move for failing primaries
Every failing primary school is to be turned into an academy, Michael Gove has announced.
The Education Secretary said it was time to "accelerate" their school improvement programme. It would be "morally reprehensible" to allow children to continue to be taught in poor schools, he suggested.
Under the plans, every primary school in England that has been put in special measures, or been given a notice to improve by Ofsted, will become a sponsored academy.
Giving a speech in central London, Mr Gove said that 220 of the worst performing primaries in the country now have agreements in place to take on academy status.
He said: "It seems to me that having reached that milestone, now is the time to accelerate - and in particular to increase our ambition for those areas of our country where concentrations of poor schools are failing communities of poor children.
"So in the next year I want to extend our academies programme to tackle the entrenched culture of under-achievement in parts of the country where children are being failed. We will seek sponsors for every primary school in the country which is in special measures or the Ofsted category notice to improve."
Mr Gove said that he was inviting new academy sponsors to come forward and creating a fund to help charities, schools, colleges and others to sponsor schools.
"They are the engine of school improvement - and we want to take off the brakes, so they can go further, faster. We will also identify the areas with the highest concentration of underperforming schools.
"These are parts of the country where children are being let down, year after year after year - and where the alternative options available to parents are poor, or non-existent.
"It would be morally reprehensible to allow this situation to continue any longer, and we will not allow it. We need to intervene at every point to help those children."