SOLIHULL’S education chief has said that the council shouldn’t take fright at the number of schools becoming academies.
Five more schools, including Alderbrook, Langley and Heart of England, converted this summer.
Just 12 months ago, there were only three academies in the whole borough - all of them in the north
But Councillor Joe Tildesley said that there might be only one or two secondary schools left in the local authority in a year’s time.
“Academies are a juggernaut, they’re coming and we have to accept that as a council,” he said.
“There’s no doubt that the local authority will have a different relationship with schools, but we shouldn’t be afraid of that.
“Education Secretary Michael Gove is quite clear, we will maintain strategic control and we will always be there to provide support.”
Coun Tildesley (Con, St Alphege) said that Solihull Council was working hard to ensure that schools still bought their services.
Academies, which have more financial autonomy, could decide to buy from private companies or other local authorities.
“If this happened then we as a council would have to ask ourselves some pretty tough questions,” added Coun Tildesley
“But of the academies that have converted so far, we haven’t seen a major shift in the services they are using.”
He said that the council also had a responsibility to ensure that schools continued to improve their GCSE and A Level results.
“With some of the first academies, created under Labour, there was an initial honeymoon period and then results slipped back,” he said.
“But to be honest it’s still too early in the lifespan of academies to say if they’ve been successful.”