The UK Government caused a significant stir in the recent budget by announcing their plans to turn all schools in England into academies. The first set of academies were schools who were failing, the next wave converted because of the financial incentives, and a law to force underperforming schools has just gone through Parliament.

Currently, 2,075 out of 3,381 secondary schools are academies (70%), while 2,440 of 16,766 (14%) primary schools have academy status. By 2022, George Osborne wants every school to be an academy. Those that refuse will face sanctions from the government, who will be granted “radical new powers” to intervene.

George Osborne’s announcement was met by mixed response – there were a significant number of murmurings even within the Conservative Party itself, and evidence has been presented by Lucy Powell, the Education Shadow Minister, which suggests “academisation in and of itself doesn’t lead to improvements”.

Even the man who created academies, former Education Secretary David Blunkett, has said that making all schools academies imperils children’s life chances and that this government’s top-down approach threatens to ruin the entire programme.

It’s not yet clear what the future holds, or the extent to which reform may happen. But the Government has revealed its hand, and it seems probable that Academies and Academy Trusts will continue to be a growing trend across England’s education system.

We’re not here to comment on whether turning schools into academies or bringing them under academy trusts will benefit or damage the education of pupils, or empower or demoralise staff. But whether you see academies as good or bad, there is at least one potential positive outcome from the consolidation and centralisation of IT. And this is one area we can confidently comment on.

Academy Trusts can save a fortune by centralising their IT infrastructure, while at the same time improving the accessibility, security, privacy and productivity of their staff and students. Cloud platforms like IAM Cloud allow Trusts to easily and powerfully manage IT, users and security across a large number of disparate institutions. They can make a significant positive impact on the day-to-day running of the institutions, and on the delivery of educational technology.

By adopting the cloud to centralise file storage, Academy Trusts can save tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds per year compared to on-premises solutions. Find out more

Centralising identity and access management can help improve security across trusts, and save IT Teams a huge headache, and a lot of time, when it comes to managing user information. Find out more

While consolidating and migrating IT can provide great efficiencies and organisational benefits in the long-term, migration projects can be challenging and expensive in their own right. Unless, that is, you have the right tool for the job. Find out more

To see how much you could save by moving to the cloud compared to on-premises solutions, check out our savings calculator below…

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About Leon

Leon is a Director at IAM Cloud with nearly 10 years of experience working in and with the education sector. Leon is a major advocate for the role of education in society, health and economic growth.

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