‘Let councils take schools from struggling MATs’

Strong performing local councils should to be able to take on schools in struggling academy trusts, according to the Education Policy Institute (EPI). Tes reports

The government also needs to be able to identify academy chains that are at risk of significant failure and ensure sponsors exist to take on their schools, according to a new report.

The report adds: “The type of school – academy or local authority – is therefore less important than being in a high performing school group.

“Indeed, we find that both academy chains and local authorities feature at the very top of our performance tables, and at the very bottom.”

The EPI has measured the performance of groups of schools based on pupil improvement. It said the contextual improvement measure it has used “takes into account characteristics such as pupil prior attainment and levels of disadvantage, as well as the historic performance of a school.”

Using this the measure EPI, finds local authorities make up 15 of the top 20 school groups at Key Stage 2. It says this is “slightly higher” than would be expected, taking into account the total number of local authorities and academy chains.

The highest performing local authorities are largely dominated by London and include Kensington and Chelsea, Greenwich and Hammersmith and Fulham. Redcar and Cleveland is the highest performing local authority outside of London.

The EPI’s executive chairman and former schools minister David Laws said: “For many years, supporters of both academy schools and local authority run schools have argued about the relative merits of both models for school improvement.

“This new EPI report is clear; there are both great academy chains and badly performing chains and there are great local authority school groups and very weak ones. Neither full academisation nor a wholesale return to the old local authority model is likely to significantly improve attainment in English schools.”

Read the full article, including the best performing academy chains and LAs ‘Let councils take schools from struggling MATs’

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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Categories: Academies and Local authorities.


  1. wasateacher

    It has been clear for years that making schools into academies is not a foolproof way of improving education. Given how expensive the academies programme is and the research which showed that “failing” schools improve 6 times faster if they remain with the local authority, rather than get forced to become an academy, it is time that there was a change of policy. As long as there are academies, we will never know if the “achievements” are not the result of off rolling. The fragmentation of education is hugely costly and, at the moment, children are slipping through the net in the drive to judge schools by exam results, rather than progress.

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