Head praises academisation and says faith schools put ‘pressure on the system’

Hambleton Primary School pupils watch on as their headteacher Pamela Birch addresses the House of Commons

Hambleton Primary School pupils watch on as their headteacher Pamela Birch addresses the House of Commons

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Becoming academies allows schools to ‘creatively improve’ children’s education, a leading head teacher has told the House of Commons.

Pamela Birch, the headteacher at Hambleton Primary Academy, was speaking in a debate on regional school commissioners after being invited down to the capital.

Giving evidence before the government’s education committee, Pamela, who is also a member of the regional headteachers board, said: “[The academy movement] is very creative. It’s one of the reasons why I went into headship.

“And that’s what teaching is. It’s putting the responsibility into the hands of heads so you can absolutely improve the system. It’s very creative.”

The committee was discussing the future of regional school commissioners across England and Wales, including Lancashire’s Vicky Beer.

Youngsters at Hambleton gathered round a big screen TV to watch their head teacher talk after travelling to London.

As they watched on, she also said the large number of faith schools in Lancashire pose a challenge as more schools are expected to become academies over the next two years.

She said: “In Lancashire alone, 51 per cent of schools are church schools.

“That brings huge pressures on the system actually, because if they are looking at academisation they are very much wanting to control their own multi-academy trust but don’t have capacity.

“That’s a big issue to address in the years ahead.”