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Inside the Academy School Revolution

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From tuition fees to the return of O-levels, education has recently been in the spotlight. Yet beyond these changes, it may be academies that come to define the Coalition’s legacy: publically funded schools with greater control over their hours and curriculum.

Zoe Williams delves into the velvet revolution sweeping English schools to find out what makes academies tick. She visits both flagship and flagging establishments, talks to Education Secretary Michael Gove about the consequences of the experiment, and considers its impact on overstretched teachers.

Along the way, she asks whether the primary and secondary school push for academy status is enriching children’s lives or dividing communities along two-tier lines of the past.


Zoe Williams inspects successful and failing academies to find out why they are performing differently, and to investigate if removing schools from local authority control is beneficial. She assesses whether the `depth before breadth' policy provides a more rounded education, and discovers how students and staff respond to a longer school day.

Cast & Crew

Actor Zoe Williams
Producer Brian King


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