The country’s largest teaching union has said the Government’s “headlong rush” to create academies risks fairness in the education system.
The NASUWT said a new report by the Academies Commission reflect their “long-standing concerns about the academies programme”.
The report said some academy schools are manipulating admissions rules to select pupils from privileged backgrounds by using extra information on families.
The report comes after research by the Financial Times found individual academy schools had been overpaid up to £1m this academic year.
The NASUWT said the “wholly unacceptable manipulation of admissions processes to covertly select pupils exemplifies the unfairness and inequity inherent in so many of this Government’s education and social policies”.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“The Academies Commission has rightly recognised the failure of the Government to establish any relationship whatsoever between its academies programme and its stated intention to raise standards of educational achievement.
“As the NASUWT has continued to make clear, there is no link between academisation and ensuring that all children and young people can make the most of their potential as learners. The Academies Commission report provides powerful confirmation of this truth.
“As the Commission emphasises, many of these inappropriate practices in the academy sector have become embedded because of the lack of democratic oversight and public scrutiny to which academies are subject. The Commission is to be applauded for calling for an end to this ‘secret garden’.
“At the very least this report should give Ministers reason to pause for thought, reflect upon the recklessness of their academies programme and instead work with all those with a stake in the education system to develop a fairer, more effective and genuinely accountable alternative.”