Councils could have ‘scrutiny power’ over academies

Councils could soon have scrutiny powers over academies similar to those they already have for health bodies as the government seeks to boost mechanisms for intervention in schools.

Schools Week has reported that the Department for Education (DfE) is considering replicating the work of council ‘health scrutiny boards’ in a bid to stabilise concerns over the quality of some academies and the trusts that run them.

The role of the scrutiny boards is to examine decisions and policies, as well as overall performance of services, and make recommendations - similar to a watchdog.

Scrutiny powers over academies would allow councils to hold academies accountable, with the ability to summon head teachers or chief executives of underperforming academies.