It is totally unfair and short sighted of the Department for Education to force sixth form colleges in the first round of area reviews to prepare and apply for academy status in just over four weeks, when others in future rounds are likely to get at least a year.

This is all a consequence of Skills Minister Nick Boles’ decision to force through the one time only area reviews under unreasonably tight deadlines.

It is hard to understand why decisions over academisation are being tied to area reviews anyway.

The colleges that don’t need immediate rescuing from financial problems should be allowed to take their time to make reasoned decisions over whether they want to make the switch in the interests of their learners and future.

It’s also one thing to complain off-the-record about the rushed process, but another entirely to have the guts and conviction to break ranks and speak publicly.

So full-credit to Alex Fau-Goodwin for having the courage of his convictions and expressing his views so openly and well.


Nick Linford is editor of FE Week