To London today for the launch of a new volume of essays on academies, which I co-edited for Centreforum with Julian Astle. A pleasing consensus is emerging on the value of academies, and the launch was attended by Andrew Adonis, Michael Gove and David Laws. Michael Wilshaw also recounted his experiences at Mossbourne in Hackney.
What the new volume demonstrates is not just the extent to which different academies have used a combination of their dynamic leadership and independence to innovate on everything from the curriculum to all-through schools, but also the way that the idea of academies has become a mainstream position for all the parties (at least at leadership level). With the government committed to 400 academies, and the Tories and Liberals seeking to outflank them (albeit with exaggerated differences in emphasis) academies are clearly here to stay.
In the book, Paul Marshall, whose work with Ark has helped develop the multiple mini-school model for academies, argues for primary academies, while Julian Astle goes beyond the prevailing consensus to argue for profit-making providers. But what it perhaps most illuminating is the testimony of the various heads who have battled against the odds to disprove the doubters. You can read the book and access the media coverage here.