Universities and good schools, he says, can sponsor academies
GORDON BROWN revealed on Wednesday a new education bill to raise the school and
training leaving age to 18.
The Prime Minister said the challenge for the Government was to support all
parents with children and invest in the educ More…ation chances of all young
Incorporated in the new Education and Skills Bill will be hisfavoured project
to upgrade skills training so that Britain can compete with monster economies
like China and India.
A Downing Street spokesman said it would provide free literacy and numeracy
training for adults up to GCSE level, and enable the Government to levy certain
industry sectors to pay for training.
Ed Balls announced a limit on academy freedoms and a push towards more public
sector sponsorship of state-funded independent schools, raising the prospect of
one successful academy sponsoring another. He emphasised his support for
academies but said new ones would now have to follow the national curriculum in
Mr Balls also abolished the need for schools, colleges or universities to find
£2m before becoming an academy sponsor.
Universities were to play a big role in the programme's expansion. Mr Balls
revealed nine had already expressed an interest in sponsoring academies and
said he wanted all universities to become involved.
"The test of whether an organisation can be a sponsor should not be its bank
balance," he said, "but whether it can demonstrate leadership, innovation, and
commitment to act in the public interest
There was also emphasis on the greater role local authorities were beginning to
play in academies, sometimes through sponsorship.