The state secondary school system in England is fragmented across key areas – from governance, and admissions arrangements to the curriculum and responsibility for use of resources such as the pupil premium – research from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and David Wolfe of Matrix has found.
Since 2010, the government’s focus on academisation has led to an expansion of academies - single-academy trusts (SATs) and multi-academy trusts (MATs) - which operate alongside local authority-maintained schools. This has had profound consequences for secondary state education, the research finds.
Where, previously, there was a clear line of responsibility with the school governing body playing a crucial role, this is no longer the case, as over three-quarters of secondary schools are academies. Whilst maintained schools have a “stakeholder” governing body, with a prescribed composition, academies do not. Academy trusts, which are registered as companies, are governed by trustees, whose appointment is often opaque.