Over 60% of parents in England disagree with the Government that all maintained schools should become academies, new research has found.
A study by HCSS Education, a leading education finance specialist, found that a significant 61% of parents did not want all schools to convert to academy status, as outlined by David Cameron in his vision for the schooling system.
To better understand how parents view academies, HCSS Education asked 1,000 UK parents, 89% of which didn’t have a child at an academy, whether they would be happy for their child to attend one. 34% said yes, 39% said yes but it would depend on the academy, 17% said no, and 10% said they were unsure either way.
Despite 73% of parents saying they would be happy for their child to go to an academy, the research revealed that only 42% actually understood what an academy is and its benefits. 58% admitted they didn’t fully understand what an academy does.
A lack of communication about these types of schools could be cited as a reason for this as 32% said that they did not think there is enough information available around the benefits of an academy.
When asked if they had any concerns about the conversion process, 19% of parents thought that in the first couple of years a newly converted academy school might struggle to handle everything on its own such as procurement, and one in seven would be worried that an academy would not be able to manage its own finances.
The survey was conducted as part of HCSS Education’s Academy Futures report, which takes an insightful look into how the education landscape is changing and the impact the rise of academies is having on both teachers and parents. It explores the barriers to conversion, the challenges schools may face when they first convert, and how these issues can be addressed.
Howard Jackson, head of education and founder of HCSS Education, said: “After David Cameron announced that every maintained school in England should become an academy, we wanted to find out what parents really thought about this.
“Despite the huge push from the Government to encourage all schools to convert, it was interesting to discover that a significant amount of parents are against the conversion process.
“From the research it has become apparent that many parents are not entirely aware of the benefits academies can offer, so a strategy is needed to ensure they are fully informed and on board. This is important as parents are given the opportunity to put forward their opinions before a school decides to become an academy, so it’s vital that they are fully briefed about a school’s plans and the conversion process to make an informed decision.”
For more information, please visit http://www.hcsseducation.co.uk/blog/academy-futures-report