Laura Sharman 07 July 2016

Academisation not always best for poorest pupils finds research

One in five academy chains are performing below average for improving the education for disadvantaged pupils, new research has revealed.

The analysis by the Sutton Trust found eight out of 39 sponsored academy chains are performing ‘substantially’ below the national average for attainment and improvement for the poorest pupils.

However, a report also published today from the Education Policy Institute (EPI) found the top performing multi-academy trusts did manage to deliver better outcomes for disadvantaged pupils.

In these chains, the proportion of disadvantaged students achieving five good GCSEs is at least 12 percentage points higher than the average for disadvantaged students in all mainstream schools.

The Sutton Trust said there has been little change in the rankings of different chains in the past three years, with only a handful performing consistently significantly above the mainstream average for attainment.

Both organisations are calling for a shake-up of the academies programme, with local authorities being able to support struggling schools to improve.

Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: ‘Our analysis shows that, while there are some academies achieving great results, a similar proportion continue to struggle to improve the outcomes of their most disadvantaged students.

‘The Government and its new infrastructure of Regional Schools Commissioners needs to act radically and rapidly to ensure that academies achieve improved outcomes for disadvantaged pupils.’

The Local Government Association (LGA) said the reports show imposing structural changes on schools does not guarantee improvements in education.

Chairman of the LGA’s children and young people board, cllr Roy Perry, said: ‘It is concerning that while the Government has announced that £600m is being cut from the Education Services Grant, the same amount is now available to finance academy conversions and support multi-academy trusts. The Education For All Bill has also indicated that some schools will still be forced to convert to academies, even if they are high-performing and have no desire to do so.

‘Rather than spending money on structure changes, the Government should urgently address more pressing issues such as the need for more school places and the growing teacher recruitment crisis, to make sure that all schools can provide the best possible education for every child.’

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Principal Planning Enforcement Officer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£40,578 - £43,570
Are you looking for a challenge, and a diverse range of work? Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Senior Planner

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£36,371-£41,591 Per Annum
This post is a fixed term contract until 2025 Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Public Rights of Way Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£30,984 - £35,336 per annum
The post holder will provide specialist expertise on the Public Rights of Way function for the Council Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Community Care Business Assistant

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£21,269 - £24,920 per annum
This position is a 12 month fixed term contract. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

ICT Helpdesk Advisor

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£21,269- £24,920 per annum
We are seeking to appoint a highly motivated, adaptable and customer focussed Service Desk Advisor. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.