The the academic performance of that school improves,

The Academies Act was introduced
in July 2010 and enables the government to take failing schools and turn them
into academies. These failing schools were initially in underprivileged areas
and aim to improve the educational outcomes of students (Anon, 2017). Academies
taken over as a result of previously being a failing school will be sponsored
to ensure the academic performance of that school improves, (Gov.uk, 17). Schools
that are not being taken over and turned into academies as a result of being a
failing school can apply to become an academy on the basis that OFSTED has
judged them to be outstanding and given that there is no reason suggestive of a
school not being able to become an Academy.

Academies will be given the
same finances per student as schools that are not academies. This act also allows
more schools to convert into academies which gives these schools freedom in
regards to where money they receive is spent in terms of salaries and budgets
for departments, and control over admission policies, which in effect means
they can aim to accept a certain type of student depending on their ideal
criteria, and freedom over curriculum as they do not have to follow the
national curriculum to an extent. There is an exception to this for the core
subjects. Despite having more freedom, academies must follow laws in place
regarding accepting students and SEND.

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According to article 28 of
the UNCRC, all children are entitled to education as it is their right to have
one (Scotland, 2017). This right to education will be inclusive of a child’s
choice to go to a UTC or to choose a more vocational or work based form of
education such as an apprenticeship when appropriate. Education is key in a child’s
development as it is a contributing factor in their secondary socialisation.
Through looking at acts that have been previously introduce, one can see that
there is importance placed on education. The Special Educational Needs and Disability
Act (2001) for example, increases the access of children and young people with
a disability to mainstream schools. The Education Act 2002 is another piece of
legislation that has made impacts on the education system by creating a
foundation stage, therefore making changes to the national curriculum. The
foundation stage is applicable to nurseries. Through acts that are in place
such as the acts mentioned above, it is evident that there is significant
importance placed on education and the level at which education is taught. This
is supportive of the Academies Act and its aim of improving, and offering more
freedom and flexibility for education.

The first academy to open
was in 2002. A total of 3 academies were opened in 2002. This has significantly
increased over the years with their being a total of 801 academies opened by
the academic year of 2010/2011 (Gov.uk.2017). The idea of academies cam about
from the labour government in the year 200 with Tony Blairs City Academies
which then went on to change to Academies. In 2010 the Coalition government adopted
academies and further developed them (The Academies Show London 2018, 2017).

After the introduction of
the Academy Act, it was advised for schools to become academies. Academies
often perform better and it is appealing in regards to having control of
budgeting and curriculum. By allowing all schools to, in effect, to become an
academy, if desired, also reduces stigma or sense of inequality for those
schools that were taken over due to failure.

The Academies Act also covers
and allows for the set-up of Free Schools. Free schools aim to provide a specific/
more focused or adapt type of education in an area where there is more need or
demand for it. Anyone is able to apply to open a free school whether it is
parents, private schools, charities etc. Free schools must undergo OFSTED
inspections and are not allowed to accept students or deny students access to
the school on the basis of academic ability.

The Academies Act 2010 brought
about new types of schools, UTC’s (university technical college) for pupils age
14-19. These offer more specialised courses and lessons and are supported by businesses
or employers in certain fields of work to enable young people to acquire skills
they will be able to utilise in a more specific workplace in the future.
Elstree UTC for example teaches subjects such as Drama, Film Studies and
Creative Technology. Courses will revolve around being work based and Technical
schools will also have academic lessons taught (core subjects).

Maintained schools are not part
of the Academy Act but it is maintained schools that are failing that will be turned
into academies. Maintained schools are ones that are funded by the local
education authorities. There are 4 types of maintained schools and a difference
between them would be the admission policies. For example, a Jewish school, which
would be a VA or VC school, would consider attendance to synagogue when reviewing
a student.

Through the introduction of
these new types of schools it is arguable that there is a higher level of
competition between schools in regards to student performance and grades. In
addition to this there is also more choice within the education system for
students and parents to be able to ensure they attend a school best suited to
their educational needs and to go to a school that will best support the holistic
development of the student.

Ball (2011) argues free
schools and academies have resulted in the reduced duties and responsibilities of
local authorities in regards to education and increased fragmentation, which
according to Ball, has arguably caused injustice in opportunities (Webb et al.,
n.d.).

According to the DoE (department
of education) nearly 2,000 sponsored academies have opened since 2010 (Gov.uk,
2017). A national provision in relation to the Academies Act 2010 and education
would be work placements for students age 16-19 as an example (Gov.uk, 2017). Work
experience allows pupils to gain an insight into certain jobs that are
available whilst allowing them to potentially gain new life skills.

The positives of becoming an
academy, some of which have previously been mentioned above, include more
freedom and independence. Academies do not need to depend upon the local authority
for the education and resources provided in the school as this will become the
schools responsibility. 

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