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On 28 March 2022 the Department for Education (DfE) published the white paper ‘Opportunity for all: strong schools with great teachers for your child’, setting out the government’s ambitions to ‘level up’ education across the country and making the case for a fully trust-led system.

Academisation has long been one of the government’s key approaches to raising standards in the areas that need it most. The recently published schools white paper announced the government’s intention that all schools in England will be in a strong multi-academy trust (MAT) or in the process of joining or forming one by 2030.

This pledge, which would see 10,000 primary schools and 700 secondary schools convert to academy-status over the next seven-and-a-half years, will be initially targeted in the 55 ‘Education Investment Areas’ that government has pledged to prioritise with attention and funding.  The government argues that these areas are ‘cold spots’ for literacy and numeracy outcomes that have the ‘most urgent need for the benefits that strong trusts can bring’.

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