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Academy Schools Programme

October 13, 2008

Question written on 13/10/2008

I very much support the academy programme, which is making a great difference in my constituency at the erstwhile Pimlico school, which has had academy status. However, one concern is brought up time and again?that whereas the old school had no fewer than seven parent governors, the new academy constitution allows for just one parent governor. What does the Secretary of State think of that? In future, will the treatment of parent governors ensure that academies can have a proper rooting in a local community?

Answered by Ed Balls

It is very important that the sponsor is able to lead the school, but it is also vital that parents are properly involved in the school. There is a clear requirement as regards parent governors, but there is also a minimum requirement. It is open to the school to have more parent governors, or alternatively to have a parent council. It is vital to our reforms that there is more active engagement and involvement of parents in setting up and managing schools. We are currently taking forward proposals for 100 co-operative trust schools, which will actively engage parents as members of the school community. There are different ways in which this can be done, but every school, including academies, needs to ensure that it involves parents properly.