GCSE results in academies are improving faster than in maintained schools, new figures released by the Department for Education (DfE) reveal.
Data released by the government today (January 26th) shows that for the 166 academies that have data for both the 2010 and 2011 academic years, the number of pupils in academies achieving five good GCSE results climbed from 40.6 per cent to 46.3 per cent.
This increase of 5.7 per cent is almost double the increase experienced in maintained schools, though still stands some way behind the average across maintained schools.
Publishing a raft of data from the education system in the latest school league tables, the DfE is aiming to increase transparency by adding various categories of information to them.
The more in-depth tables now provide information related to disadvantaged pupils and the EBacc and reveal how difficult it is for children from deprived backgrounds to achieve the same standards as their peers.
Though there are examples of secondary schools helping disadvantaged pupils turn their school careers around, in the majority of instances the data shows that those from disadvantaged backgrounds are much less likely to achieve good GCSE results.
Commenting on the tables, schools minister Nick Gibb said that regardless of a child's circumstances we should still have high expectations of them.
"Today's figures reveal a shocking waste of talent in many schools across the country," he said.
"All too often, pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds aren't given the same opportunities as their peers."
Barely more than one third (33.9 per cent) of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds achieved five good GCSE results including English and maths.
The national average at maintained schools, meanwhile, is nearly double this at 58.2 per cent.
The new tables also shed light on how pupils' performance develops between primary and secondary school, revealing that professionals in secondary teaching jobs often help turn around the fortunes of underachieving pupils.
Some 6.5 per cent of pupils who left primary school below the expected Level 4 at the end of Key Stage 2 then went on to gain five good GCSEs.
However, some secondary schools are letting children down, with 4.9 per cent of those who were achieving above expectation at Key Stage 2 then failing to achieve good GCSEs.
In response to this finding, Mr Gibb said that the government would not hesitate to act when schools are underperforming.
"Children only have one chance at education. These tables show which schools are letting children down," he said.