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Reluctance over academy proposal

PUBLISHED: 09:56 27 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:51 30 June 2010

Norfolk headteachers were reluctant to take the bait last night as the government offered every one of the county's schools the chance to join potentially the biggest education revolution for decades.

Norfolk headteachers were reluctant to take the bait last night as the government offered every one of the county's schools the chance to join potentially the biggest education revolution for decades.

Education secretary Michael Gove has written to all secondary and primary schools to urge them to become academies, with each “outstanding” school given a fast-track route that could see their status changed by this September.

Mr Gove said he wanted academy status to be “the norm”, indicating that he wanted to oversee the biggest change to state education since the rapid expansion of the comprehensive system in the 1960 and 1970s.

Norfolk primaries and secondaries currently rated outstanding by Ofsted were asked whether they wanted to become academies.

Of the 10 that replied, two said yes, two said no, and the remaining six were non-committal.

Alison Hopley, head of Alderman Swindell Infant School in Great Yarmouth, said: “It will be the governors' final decision. But I think we will give it serious consideration.”

But John Robson, headteacher at Hobart High School, Loddon, said: “My view of this is that until we actually secure the detail of these proposals I would be recommending to my governors that we do not look at it or touch it.”

Meanwhile, critics rounded on the government, saying it was “completely bonkers” to take schools outside of local authority control - and suggested it would create a “completely unfair” system that favoured schools in wealthier areas.

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