The who’s who of academies

By Megan Caulfield

With academies becoming increasingly popular – 1 in 4 schools are now academies –  we thought we would run through some of the most influential people arguing for and against the current movement.


  • Michael Gove

    image courtesy of conservativeparty flickr

    image courtesy of conservative party flickr

Michael Gove is a British Conservative politician who is the Secretary of State for Education. He is one of the biggest supporters of academies and is regularly seen promoting the programme in the media. He argues that the programme gives schools more freedom and responsibility and that this will increase overall running and performance of schools.

The Department for Education was formed on 12 May 2010 and is responsible for education and children’s services. They provide Information for schools interested in becoming an academy and information for existing academies, local authorities and sponsors.

They work closely with Michael Gove to make sure the programme runs as smoothly as possible.

The IAA is an acknowledged national body that is regularly consulted by the government and its opposition on matters regarding to education change. It holds three meetings yearly where they discuss differing group’s views on policy and strategy and provides networking opportunities and support for state funded independent schools.

According to their website they “aim to promote a positive public image and reputation for academies and other state-funded independent schools by means of media and PR activity.”



Ask Parents First are a parent-led group based in and around Birmingham.

According to their website they are “campaigning for open and democratic consultation with parents and prospective parents on school change to include a full and binding parental ballot before a school can convert to academy status.”

They formed in response to concerns over the way academy status appears to be forced on schools and school communities as a result of Michael Gove and the Department of Education’s academy programme, without consulting with parents or the community first.

They are hoping to get Birmingham City Council to oppose the forced conversion of Local Authority maintained schools to academies and to give parents more say about their child’s school.

The Anti Academies Alliance is a campaign composed of unions, parents, pupils, teachers, councillors and MPs.

They oppose the government’s Academies programme and believe that we need ‘a good school for every child.’

They meet at regular intervals throughout the year and have staff working on the campaign on a full time, day to day basis.


The academies commission has been set up to examine the implications of the mass conversion of state schools and the impact this might have on educational outcomes.

The full results and findings of their inquiry and summarised in the video below.