Socialist Worker

Report shows how academies fail children

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2264

If you go to an academy school you’re less likely to get high grades—and more likely to be excluded. That’s the finding of an equality impact assessment of the government’s academies bill.

The assessment found “for every ethnic group, attainment is lower in academies than the national average”.

The assessment compared the proportion of pupils who got at least five GCSEs at grades A* to C. In 2009 34.9 percent of pupils in academies achieved this—nearly 17 percent lower than the national average of 51.7 percent.

Academies fail children with special educational needs.

Of those with a statement (a document detailing the special needs and help that will be given), 4.9 percent got the top grades in 2009. The national average was more than double, at 10.4 percent.


The number of permanent exclusions in secondary school academies was double that of state schools in 2007–8.

Nearly 14 percent of pupils in secondary school academies received a fixed period exclusion, compared to under 10 percent in state schools.

The report adds that, “The rates of exclusions among pupils with SEN are higher in academies compared to local authority maintained secondary schools.”

Those who remained in academies and had an SEN statement saw their grades drop between 2008 and 2009. The percentage gaining top grades fell by 0.6 percent.

In 2007–8 academies permanently excluded 0.5 percent of black pupils—for state schools the figure was 0.4 percent.

The figures show that academy schools are bad for children. But they are very good for business—and that’s why the Tories want them.

Read the full report:

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Tue 9 Aug 2011, 18:01 BST
Issue No. 2264
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