Why Commissioners can’t just “CALL” for academies

The DfE keep putting out press releases that say the Schools Commissioner, Frank Green, is “calling for more academies”.

Today he called for more academies in Derbyshire.

Last month, in a suspiciously similar press release, he did it for Essex.

But, “calling” for things isn’t a policy strategy. With apologies to The US Office, it’s a bit like trying to declare bankruptcy simply by standing up and shouting BANKRUPTCY. Schools know they can become academies. They have had the benefits explained over, and over to them. They have also been dangled significant cash carrots and hefty Ofsted sticks. If the incoming Regional School Commissioners, each to be paid well over £100k, are going to earn their keep, they’ll need more tools in their academy-promoting arsenal than this.