Good news for Sunderland’s academy schools

Coun. Robert Oliver
Coun. Robert Oliver
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A REPORT which claims academy schools improve quickly has been welcomed on Wearside.

The Department of Education’s latest report says schools which opted to become academies have improved more quickly than those staying as local authority schools, according to an analysis of Ofsted inspections.

Coun Robert Oliver, the Tory education spokesman for Sunderland, said with the city having an above average number of secondary academies, this is good news.

He said: “This report proves that converting to academy status helps schools improve faster than being controlled by the local authority.

“Academies allow headteachers more control of their budget, choice of different services and the power to change the curriculum to suit their pupils.

“These powers help headteachers drive improvements in the quality of teaching which is the most important factor in a school’s success.”

The Department for Education report into converter academies, those which have chosen to change their status, said they were more likely to improve from good to outstanding during an Ofsted inspection.

The analysis looks at what happened to inspection results in 2012-13 in the wake of the rapid expansion of academies, England’s most common form of secondary school.

Of the 17 state secondary schools in Sunderland, 12 are academies, nine of which are converter academies.

The report does not include sponsored academies, which were more likely to have replaced a previously underachieving school.

This summer’s GCSE results showed 70 per cent of converter academies achieving the benchmark of five good GCSEs, including English and maths, compared with 59 per cent of local authority schools.

Meanwhile, Cleadon Village Primary School in Boldon Lane, is to consult with parents over its own plans to become an academy.