Caraline Johnson speaks to Schools Week on academisation and the importance of consultation

Caraline Johnson, Head of Education at Bates Wells, has contributed to a Schools Week article covering recent calls by parent-led campaign groups to ‘tighten’ the rules governing parental consultation prior to academisation.


Following the news that the DfE has been asked to review rules dictating how and when schools consult when they apply for academy status, Caraline Johnson offered her views to Schools Week on how schools can consult with parents. This article was published in response to claims that the Academies Act 2010 should be updated so that schools are obliged to consult staff and parents in addition to pupils and the wider community.

In referring to challenges from parents, Caraline also offers the caveat that “given how much discretion the governing body has, it would be quite difficult to challenge a consultation”. She goes on to argue that “even if successful the likely outcome would be that the governing body had to redo it – a challenge would not be likely to stop the conversion, which tends to be what unhappy parents really want.”

In order to head off problems in this area, Caraline recommends that schools involve all of its stakeholders in a six-week consultation and urges schools to hold their consultation during term time.

You can read the rest of this article, as well as other insights from Caroline, on Schools Week’s site here.

This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.

All content on this page is correct as of July 17, 2019.