In the last month, 97 schools became academies - the equivalent of more than four opening every school day.
This takes the total number of open academies to 801, meaning that academies now account for more than 20 per cent of all secondary schools in England.
As of today:
- 1353 schools have applied to be an academy since June 2010 - an increase of 110 in the last month.
- 527 have already converted and are open - an increase of 97 in the last month.
- The total number of open academies now stands at 801, including academies that opened under the previous Government.
- More than a third of all secondary schools are academies or are in the process of converting.
A growing number of less high achieving schools are also coming forward to become academies by joining up with outstanding schools in multi-academy chains. These schools recognise that, by working in partnership with good or outstanding schools, they will be able to gain the knowledge, teaching and leadership expertise they need to raise standards faster.
One example of this is Etonbury Middle School in Bedfordshire. This is a satisfactory rated school which plans to become an academy and join a multi-academy trust with Robert Bloomfield Academy, an outstanding school which became an academy in May. Other schools are also planning to join the trust.
Head teacher of Etonbury Middle School, Albert Mistrano, said:
Our academy bid rests on our firm belief that by teaming up with an outstanding school we will quickly introduce outstanding teaching practices and leadership. This has already started with the introduction of a brand new Year 5 team led by the Head of Year 5 from Robert Bloomfield Academy and a new Director of Specialism/Head of Science, also from Robert Bloomfield Academy. Indeed, our timetables have been written together this year in order to have seamless joint staffing.
At Senior Leadership level, Etonbury and Robert Bloomfield are now working as a united team in order to iron out inequalities of delivery between the two schools. Our aim is for Etonbury to reach outstanding status within two years as a result of our work as an academy within a multi-academy trust.
Schools Minister Lord Hill said:
One in five secondary schools now enjoy the freedoms that academy status brings - with hundreds more in the pipeline.
I am particularly pleased that through the Academies programme some of our best head teachers are reaching out to other schools, working with them to raise standards for local children.
The best way of improving schools is by getting professionals who have already done an excellent job to spread their expertise.
Strong schools that convert to academy status are expected to support other local schools that could benefit from improvement. The Department is also seeing a range of other academy models coming through - including schools that converted at the start of the programme who are now becoming academy sponsors.
Academies have greater freedom to focus their time and resources on meeting the needs of their pupils and school, rather than answering to local or national politicians and bureaucrats.
Notes to editors
The latest information on academies, including how schools can convert, can be found in the academies section of our website.
Etonbury Middle School has had its academy application approved. It is in the process of converting to academy status.
The list below gives the number of academies opening each year under the previous Government:
- 3 opened in 2002
- 9 opened in 2003
- 5 opened in 2004
- 10 opened in 2005
- 19 opened in 2006
- 37 opened in 2007
- 47 opened in 2008
- 70 opened in 2009
- 3 opened in January 2010.
Total = 203