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Converter Academies: Statistics

Published Monday, October 19, 2015

The Government introduced the Academies Bill at the end of May 2010. The Academies Act 2010 came into force in time to allow the first converter academies to start in September 2010. The legislation streamlined the process of converting to an academy and also allowed primary and special schools to become academies. Up to the start of September 2015 a total of 3,420 schools had converted to become academies and a further 782had applied for conversion. Secondary schools dominated the first two years of conversions, but since then more primaries have converted and now a majority of all converter academies are primary schools. A greater proportion of secondaries have converted; currently 41%. The secondary schools which have converted so far had free school meal eligibility rates around half the national average.

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The Government introduced the Academies Bill at the end of May 2010. The Academies Act 2010 came into force in time to allow the first converter academies to start in September 2010. The legislation streamlined the process of converting to an academy and also allowed primary and special schools to become academies. Up to the start of September 2015 a total of 3,420 schools had converted to become academies and a further 782 had applied for conversion. Secondary schools dominated the first two years of conversions, but since then more primaries have converted and now a majority of converter academies are primary schools. A greater proportion of secondaries have converted; currently 41%. The secondary schools which have converted so far had free school meal eligibility rates around half the national average.

The academies ‘model’ introduced by the previous Government was sponsor led and focussed on poorly performing secondary schools in more deprived areas. Both types of academies are state funded schools which are independent of local authorities. Their funding is intended to replicate the level they would had received if they were still maintained by the local authority with extra funding only to cover services no longer provided by the local authority. Academies have greater freedoms over how they use their budgets, set staff pay and conditions and deliver the curriculum.

This note looks at data on the number of converter academies and the types of schools that have decided to convert. The note Sponsored Academies: Statistics looks at the growth of these academies since 2003, compares their intake with other secondary schools and goes into some detail on performance data.

Commons Briefing papers SN06233

Author: Paul Bolton

Topic: Schools

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