William Eichler 10 May 2022

Council-maintained schools perform better than academies, report finds

Council-maintained schools perform better than academies, report finds image
Image: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com.

Schools that stay with their council are more likely to perform better than those that convert to an academy, a new report has found.

A new study carried out for the Local Government Association (LGA) has found that 92% of council-maintained schools were rated outstanding or good by Ofsted as of 31 January 2022, compared to 85% of academies that were graded since they converted.

The Government intends to persuade all schools to become academies by 2030. However, the LGA argues that the high level of performance among council-maintained schools shows that they will need convincing if they are to change.

The research, which looked at school Ofsted ratings between August 2018 and January 2022, also found that only 45% of academies that were an academy in August 2018 were able to improve from inadequate or requires improvement to good or outstanding, compared to 56% of council-maintained schools.

Just over 80% of council-maintained schools retained their outstanding rating, compared to 72% of outstanding academies that received inspections in their current form and did not inherit grades from their former maintained school status.

Nearly 30% of the same academy cohort saw their outstanding rating fall compared to 19% of council-maintained schools.

Commenting on the research, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: ‘Regardless of whether a school is an academy or council-maintained, what is most important is that children receive the very best education and start in life. This is something we all aspire to achieve.

‘While academisation can be a positive choice in some cases, these findings raise questions over whether a one-size-fits-all approach is a guaranteed way of improving results and strengthening a school’s performance.’

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