Academies are open to greater accountability and scrutiny than other state-funded schools. Performance data including exam results, inspection reports and financial accounts are published for each academy. Academies are also accountable through analysis from the Education Funding Agency, and through greater data transparency and an improved inspection system academies are more open to public scrutiny than ever before.
I thank the Secretary of State for his response, but schools such as Byrchall High in Wigan are refusing to provide written responses to MPs’ inquiries. Is it not clear that the Secretary of State needs to act if there is to be public accountability on spend in those schools and public accountability on policy?
It is absolutely regrettable if any principal or head teacher declines to respond to a request from an elected Member of Parliament. I will look into the case, but I should stress that academies are subject to freedom of information. The previous Government did not allow that, but this Government brought it in.