Professor Stephen Machin and James Vernoit
In this short paper Machin and Vernoit compare academy schools created by Labour with the ‘coalition academies’, those that either opened autumn 2010 or applied for academy status following the 2010 election. They evaluate the performance of academy schools by comparing them with a selected group of schools due to become academies in the future, but had yet to make the transition to academy status.
Their preliminary results found that academies opened under Labour were able to generate significant improvement in their GCSE performance compared to the future academies, with an extra 3% of pupils in those academies achieving five or more grades A*- C at GCSE/GNVQ level, compared with the schools that had not yet become academies.
They conclude that these results suggest that academy schools can deliver faster gains in GCSE performance than comparable schools, though also acknowledge that the preliminary nature of the findings means it is too early to draw strong conclusions.
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