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Four academies opening every day

06/07/2011 Kelly
Figures released this week by the Department for Education show that four academies are now opening each day.

In the last month alone, 97 schools converted to academy status, meaning there are now more than 800 across England.

Academies now account for more than a fifth of all secondary schools in the country.

Commenting on the figures, schools minister Lord Hill noted that are hundreds more conversions in the pipeline.

"I am particularly pleased that through the academies programme some of our best head teachers are reaching out to other schools, working with them to raise standards for local children," he commented.

"The best way of improving schools is by getting professionals who have already done an excellent job to spread their expertise."

Albert Mistrano, headteacher at Etonbury Middle School, which is planning to become an academy and join a multi-academy trust with the Robert Bloomfield Academy, said: "Our academy bid rests on our firm belief that by teaming up with an outstanding school we will quickly introduce outstanding teaching practices and leadership.

"This has already started with the introduction of a brand new Year 5 team led by the head of Year 5 from Robert Bloomfield Academy and a new director of specialism/head of science, also from Robert Bloomfield Academy. Indeed, our timetables have been written together this year in order to have seamless joint staffing."

He added that Etonbury is aiming for outstanding status within the next two years as a result of its work as an academy within a multi-academy trust.

More than 1,350 schools have applied to become academies since June 2010, with more than 500 having already converted.

Strong schools that convert to academy status are expected to support other local schools that can benefit from improvement.

Posted by Dolcie Thacker

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