By Claire West
Commenting on the information released today by the Department for Education that only 200 schools had converted to academy status since the Coalition Government came into office, Chris Keates General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, said:
"The Coalition Government clearly has no cause for celebration in these figures.
"Many of the handful of schools which have converted have done so only because they have been duped into believing that they will get additional funding at a time of savage cuts.
"The figure of 200 schools is far lower than the Coalition Government's predicted numbers and represents only a tiny proportion of the over 22,000 schools in England.
"The disruption, uncertainty and concern caused by the Coalition Government's obsession with structural change is counterproductive and flies in the face of the evidence that such change does not raise standards of education.
"The pressure schools are facing from the DfE to convert to academy status is proving to be a huge distraction from focusing on teaching and learning and, in some cases, is causing major rifts between governors, parents, staff and school leaders.
"The Coalition Government should recognise that the vast majority of schools do not want to take this irreversible leap into the unknown."