William Eichler 20 April 2018

Academy teachers ‘sceptical’ about effectiveness of academisation, poll reveals

The majority of academy teachers and leaders are sceptical about the effectiveness of academy status, survey reveals.

A poll of 1,246 teachers and academy leaders by the National Foundation for Educational Research found 30% of the 143 leaders surveyed believed their autonomy had ‘no effect’ and 18% said it had a negative effect.

Around 42% of leaders surveyed said autonomy had a positive effect in the classroom.

Academies are publicly funded schools which operate independently of local authorities and can set their own curriculums on the condition they are ‘broad and balanced.’ The Government wants to see all schools become academies by 2022.

However, only 27% of the poll respondents thought autonomy had a positive impact in the classroom, while only 8% of staff at non-academy schools saw academy autonomy as beneficial.

Of those who did see a positive effect, most cited freedom on the curriculum (63%) and control over resources (60%) as factors they liked about academisation.

Senior leaders also cited freedom from local bureaucracy (51%) as a positive element of becoming an academy.

‘Today’s polling shows that many academy leaders are sceptical about the benefits of their autonomy,’ said Sir Peter Lampl, founder of the Sutton Trust, the group that commissioned the polling, and chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF).

‘The focus should not be on school structures but on improving the quality of teaching in schools.'

 

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