Schools offered promise of state-funded academies

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Education Secretary Michael Gove has promised a brighter future for schools around the country following the introduction of the Academies Bill, which will allow schools that are judged to be outstanding to switch to academy status.They will no longer be local authority governed but will be funded by the state.

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Gove claims that the new system will give schools greater autonomy about staff and pay, what they teach and their admissions procedures. About one in five secondary schools are currently rated as outstanding and in the future, all schools, including primary schools, will be able to opt to become an academy.

Supporter Dan Moynihan from the Harris Foundation, which runs seven academies, is full of praise for the new system.

He said: "It's the beginning of an education revolution that has the ability to transform the lives of children."

However, as these new academies have so much more control over their finances and choice of staff, it is obvious that they will want to offer better rates of pay to attract the best teachers. This will leave the no teachers for those schools that do not rate as outstanding.

Opponents of the scheme feel that the losers will ultimately be the most disadvantaged children who currently attend schools that will not achieve the outstanding rating.

Ex-education secretary Ed Balls said: "I think it will be very unfair and we will end up with a two-tier education system, the opposite of what the academies programme was about."

What do you think, will the new academy system improve English education or make matters worse? Leave your comments below.