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Volume 475: debated on Thursday 15 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will bring academies into the purview of local schools committees. (204970)

The Government encourage academies to work closely with local schools and their communities. However, the first priorities of an academy must be to concentrate on tackling the challenges they face in terms of performance and behaviour, and on meeting the needs of their pupils.

Many academies sit on their local school forums, but like other maintained schools are not compelled to do so; it is for the governing body of the school in each case to decide. Academy principals are also often part of their local secondary head groups—and in some cases have been the chair.

Academy Governing Bodies are bound by law to act in the best interest of the academy, its pupils and local community. They must set out their proposals for working with other schools and the wider community in their annual development plan.

All new academies will be required to be part of their local behaviour partnerships, and all open academies are already members or have indicated a willingness to work with their local behaviour partnerships.