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Academy schools 'more likely to improve'

09/01/2014 Kelly
An analysis of schools shows those that have converted to academy status are improving faster than those remaining under the control of local authorities.

Converter academies, which account for more than two-thirds of the country's 3,613 academy schools, were found to be more likely to improve from "good" to "outstanding", the BBC reports.

Of these academies, more than 2,500 are free-standing, directly-funded state schools, outside of the control of local authorities.

Some 56 per cent of England's state sector secondary schools and 11 per cent of primary schools are academies.

Many converter academies were already likely to be good schools before they changed status, so the new report looks at how they have performed subsequently.

Analysis of the Ofsted report, which was published by the Department for Education, found that academies at both primary and secondary level were more likely to have improved their grades and less likely to have suffered a decline in performance.

Sponsored academies, which are more likely to have replaced underachieving schools, are not included in the report. Schools that were forced to become academies were also omitted from the report.

Some 70 per cent of converter academies attained the benchmark level of five good GCSEs or above. This compares with 59 per cent of local area authority schools.

Education secretary Michael Gove said: "This report shows that academies are doing much better than local authority schools.

"Academy status lets teachers get on with the job, free from bureaucratic interference. Our reforms are raising standards and giving more parents the choice of a great local state school."

Earlier this week, it was announced that more primary schools had been paired up with academy sponsors in a drive to improve standards. It was found that sponsored academies improved their performance by three percentage points compared with an improvement of one percentage point among all schools.

Academies were launched under Labour in 2002 but the programme has expanded rapidly since the coalition government came to power. 

Posted by Charlotte MichaelsADNFCR-2164-ID-801680509-ADNFCR
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