Professor Stephen Gorard
This paper considers the pupil intakes of academies in England and their attainment based on figures from the Annual Schools Census 1989-2012, the DfE School Performance Tables 2004-2012, and the National Pupil Database. It looks at the national picture, and the situation for local education authorities, examining the trajectories of the UK’s three original academies.
It confirms earlier studies in finding no convincing evidence that academies are any more (or less) effective than the schools they replace or are in competition with. The prevalence of academies in any area was found to be strongly associated with local levels of socio-economic segregation. This is especially true of the more recent converter academies. Converter academies, on average, take far less than their fair share of disadvantaged pupils.
It finds that academies are not the cause of local socio-economic segregation, but that they are more likely to appear in areas that already have inequitable school mixes. The paper concludes that academies are not helping to reduce segregation (as was one of their original purposes) or increase social justice in education, and that maintained schools should be preferred for this purpose.
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