The government is to offer money for primaries who do the Academy deed from June 2012. The Department for Education has created the Primary Chains Grant (www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/typesofschools/academies/primary/a00210101/primarychainsgrant) to help primary schools that decide to convert to academy status in established academy chains.
According to officials, the department has seen that strong chains of three or more academies can help drive up standards and provide opportunities for increased collaborative working among schools. "Working together" appear to be the new buzz words for primary school leaders and academy status may hold to the key to working together most effectively.
Critics of the scheme say the new funding is an out-and-out bribe to attract primary schools who may be wavering on whether to convert and are already suffering due to spending cuts. Starting the new academic year as an Academy might prove the most profitable option for primaries. But should finances be driving school policy?