An NUT representative has claimed there is no proof that academies provide better standards of education.
David Morgan, Bournemouth representative of the National Teachers Union, said: “There is no evidence at this stage that academies improve the education of children above what they would get at a good state school.”
Morgan’s comments come as work is due to start on Jewell Academy; a new school set to be opened in September on the site of Townsend Primary School in Bournemouth at a reported cost of £4.15 million.
Steve Kennings, Chief Executive of the academy’s sponsor, Aspirations Trust, said: “Work will begin any time now on refurbishing the existing building before part of it is knocked down and work on the new buildings begins.”
Kennings said refurbishment work on the existing school will be completed by September in order to cater for two new reception classes. Once complete, the new primary academy will accommodate a maximum of around 400 students.
But Morgan is critical of the amount of money spent on academy schools: “What annoys the NUT is that in a time of economic cutbacks, which the government is so keen on, they’re prepared to put £8.5 billion towards academy conversions. Which doesn’t seem to make sense,” he said. “We believe the money should be spent on good state schools to improve the education that is already there.”
As a brand new school, applications for Jewell Academy will stay open until September and Kennings described local response so far to the new school as “really positive.”
Main image courtesy: James Brooks