A high-powered Academies Commission has been established by the Royal Society for the Arts to look at the impact of academies on the future of the education system in England.
Chaired by Christine Gilbert, former Chief Inspector, the other commissioners are Chris Husbands, Director of the Institute of Education and Brett Wigdortz, CEO, Teach First. The Commission is headed by Professor Becky Francis, Director of the Pearson Centre for Policy and Learning, who said: “This commission may be quick but it will be determinedly rigorous”. This will be the first in depth attempt to understand what the education sector and the wider public wants to be done to make academies work for pupils.
The inquiry will run for nine months, reporting towards the end of 2012, and will examine a range of issues including the implications of complete academisation for school improvement and pupil attainment. Aspect’s John Chowcat welcomed the new Commission: “The limited size and growth of the current academy chains, and the very real differences between these chains on how to secure sustainable school improvement, makes this a particularly timely initiative.”