UNISON has always opposed academisation of schools for a number of reasons, not least that we believe in a fully comprehensive, locally accountable education system and we have always felt schools do better when they are part of their local council.
However, in recent years the government has been undermining schools linked to local authorities and focused on getting schools to convert to becoming academies. Several thousand former maintained schools have now become academies, including the majority of secondary schools.
Now, new research confirms that council-maintained schools do perform better than academy schools.
The Local Government Association (LGA) has found that 92 per cent of council-maintained schools have been rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, but for schools that have converted to academies the number is only 85%.
The LGA research also found that:
- only 45 per cent of academies that were an academy in August 2018 were able to improve from inadequate or requires improvement to good or outstanding, compared to 56 per cent of council-maintained schools
- 81 per cent of council-maintained schools retained their outstanding rating, compared to 72 per cent of outstanding academies that received inspections in their current form and did not inherit grades from their former maintained school status
- 28 per cent of the same academy cohort saw their outstanding rating fall compared to 19 per cent of council-maintained schools
We will continue to encourage and support schools to resist the pressure to convert to academy status, while nationally we continue to campaign for a fully comprehensive, locally accountable education system.