Largest academies study to date is published


The largest study into academy schools to date has given an insight into how they are using their freedoms.

The research involved 654 of the more than 3,350 academy schools and has been carried out by SSAT and the think-tank Reform.

It finds that 33 per cent of academies have set their own contract and terms and conditions for staff, 40 per cent have employed teachers without qualified teacher status or are thinking about doing so, and 59 per cent have introduced changes to teachers’ pay.

Furthermore, 19 per cent of academies have changed the length of the school day or plan to do so.

When it comes to the curriculum, 35 per cent have changed their curriculum or plan to do so. Meanwhile, 13 per cent have made the English Baccalaureate compulsory for all students, with 38 per cent making it compulsory for the most able.

When it comes to local authority relations, 62 per cent of academies said that their relationship with the local authority has stayed the same while 45 per cent have maintained the local authority’s services when it comes to delivery of HR, legal or financial advice. 

At the end of January 2014, there were 3,613 open academies in England; nine per cent of all primary schools and 53 per cent of all secondary schools in England.

Converter academies, those schools that opted to move to academy status under government reforms, now make up 72 per cent of all academies. Converter academies are expected to work with a vulnerable school and the study found that 58 per cent currently do so.



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