Press release

Record number of under-performing schools to become academies

More children will have the opportunity of a great education as record numbers of weak schools are turned into academies this year.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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  • 1,000 new academies have opened in the last year

More children will have the opportunity of a great education as record numbers of weak schools are turned into academies this year.

Forty-five sponsored academies will open in September, with a further forty-nine due to open during this academic year. This is the highest ever number of new sponsored academies to open in one year.

In addition, 185 good schools will become academies this month - on top of the 796 who have already converted. These schools can now take charge of their own affairs and enjoy the professional freedom and control that academy status brings.

Since September 2010, 1,097 schools have become academies (116 sponsored academies, 981 converter academies), meaning that 1300 academies are now open, compared to 203 opened before the Academies Act of July 2011. This is more than a six-fold increase.

This means that more than 40 per cent of all secondary schools are now open or in the process of opening as academies.

As of this September:

  • there are 1,300 Academies open across the country
  • in 29 local authorities, the majority of secondary schools are academies
  • in addition to the open academies, a further 575 are in the pipeline, with more applications expected in the new school year
  • the first 12 special schools have become Academies and we are working with 25 who are interested in doing so over the next year.

Education Secretary, Michael Gove, said today:

Teachers, not politicians or bureaucrats, should run schools. They should be free to innovate in the classroom. That is why thousands of schools are becoming academies.

Every child should be able to attend a good school. But we have inherited one of the most stratified and segregated education systems in the developed world.

Thankfully, record numbers of weak schools are becoming academies this year, so we are giving more and more children opportunities that have historically been the preserve of those from wealthy backgrounds.

Academies benefit from greater freedoms to innovate and raise standards. These include:

  • freedom from local and central government control
  • the ability to set their own pay and conditions for staff
  • freedoms around the delivery of the curriculum
  • freedom to change the lengths of terms and school days.

Notes to editors

  1. A full list of academies can be found in the academies section of the Department for Education’s website.

  2. The 29 LAs where the majority of secondary schools are academies are:

Rutland
North East Lincolnshire
Bromley
Solihull
Sutton
Bexley
Swindon
Reading
Medway
Harrow
Thurrock
Plymouth
Southwark
Gloucestershire
Buckinghamshire
Havering
Cambridgeshire
Milton Keynes
Southend-on-Sea
Somerset
Darlington
Hillingdon
Peterborough
Kent
Barnet
Bournemouth
Hackney
North Somerset
Westminster

  1. The numbers of Academies opening in each year up to May 2010 is below:

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

DfE enquiries

Published 5 September 2011