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'Not surprising' that few schools are applying for academy status

06/09/2010 Joanna
It is not surprising that only 142 schools have applied to convert to academy status this year.

This is according to Chris Husbands, professor of education at the Institute of Education, who said that he would "not draw any conclusions" from this.

"The first is that the Academies Act became law in July and it's been the school holidays since then, so it's not entirely surprising that the number of schools going for academy status at the moment is relatively small," he commented.

Sensibly, most schools will be looking carefully at what goes on and basing their decisions on this, Mr Husbands noted.

He added that evidence on whether converting to academy status raises standards is "mixed", with some schools benefiting from the freedom and others requiring external support.

According to the Department for Education, 32 schools will become academies this month, with the rest following suit over the next year.
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