Academies must open their doors

| 24 October 2007

Academy schools must start opening up their facilities for use by the whole community, an influential cross-party committee of MPs said last week.

In a report, MPs on the Public Accounts Committee said academies, which are publicly funded but operate independently of local authorities, need to let other schools and the local community use their facilities.

The MPs noted that, until recently, academies faced huge VAT bills if they let other organisations use their facilities, but said now the government had removed that barrier,academies could no longer hold back.

The report concluded: "Academies need to collaborate with other secondary schools to share the benefits of their facilities."

Chris Keates, general secretary of teachers' union NASUWT, said: "We are pleased the report recognises the need for better collaboration between state-maintained and academy schools. All too often academies focus too narrowly on their own priorities."

- www.parliament.uk.

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