Laura Sharman 26 April 2016

Local authority schools outperform academies, says research

Council-run schools are outperforming academies in Oftsed inspections, research from the Local Government Association (LGA) has revealed.

The analysis shows that 86% of council-maintained schools are rated as 'good' or 'outstanding' by Ofsted, compared to 82% of academies and 79% of free schools.

The figures also show that 'inadequate' schools are more likely to improve if they stay under the control of their local authority, with 98% improving after their next Ofsted inspection. This compares to 88% of those forced to convert to an academy seeing improvements.

'These figures clearly demonstrate that councils are education improvement partners, rather than barriers to delivering the high quality education that our children deserve,' said cllr Roy Perry, chairman of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board.

'With 86% of council-maintained schools in England rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, the Government needs to recognise councils’ role in education improvement, and that imposing structural changes on schools is not the best way to improve education.

The LGA is calling for the Government to cancel its plans to convert all schools into academies by 2022, arguing schools should be given the freedom to choose the structure most appropriate for them.

It urge the Government to address the more 'pressing' issues facing education such as the shortage of school places and the growing teacher recruitment crisis.

Yesterday it was rumoured that the Government was preparing to back track on its plans, following mounting opposition.

Cllr Paul Carter, chairman of the County Councils Network, said: 'Local government delivers significant support to parents, pupils and schools across the country. Central government must not forget the vital role of councils in Education and of course the significant role good local authorities have played in raising school standards and pupil attainment.

'The County Councils Network support the initiative of local authorities with a good track record supporting schools forming Multi-Academy Trusts. However, we need to see more detailed proposals.'

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