'I want every school in the country to have the opportunity to become an academy and to benefit from the freedoms this brings. So we will make it a priority to recruit more academy sponsors and support more great headteachers in coming together in academy chains. In doing so, we can extend educational excellence and opportunity to every school and every child in our country.'
Existing academies will be expected to lead change by expanding and taking on other school. They will also fairly soon (especially in the secondary sector) find themselves in a situation where being an academy is no longer unique and where all schools are looking to understand and actively serve their local market - and a surface re-branding isn't going to win over any prospective parents.
Secondary schools that are not academies are going to be under the most pressure. Those who are struggling to achieve high results need to prepare to be taken over - those who are doing well will need to achieve higher standards or take the initiative and take the benefits of choosing to become academies under their own terms.
The primary sector is much more difficult to change - only 15% of schools are already academies and a large number of the remaining schools are doing very well. Expect some innovative incentives coming to the sector!
Across all this though is the increasing marketisation of education - this article hasn't even touched on free and private schools, UTCs, Studio Schools, or Sixth Form Colleges! Schools need to keep doing a good job for their students, but they also need to be monitoring changes in other schools, parental perceptions and keeping a close eye on political changes. A challenge for all schools - and one that requires an good understanding of marketing!