News story

Sponsored academies’ improvement in GCSEs outstripping other schools

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

Details on the latest figures showing how the academies programme is driving the improvement of many previously underperforming schools.

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The secondary school performance tables show that standards are rising in sponsored academies at a record rate - and more than 5 times as quickly than in all state-funded schools.

Across all state-funded schools, the proportion of pupils who achieved at least 5 good GCSEs (including in English and maths) rose by 0.6 percentage points. In sponsored academies, the increase was 3.1 percentage points.

The change in the number of schools below the floor also illustrates how many heads and teachers - in all state-funded schools - are responding to the new firm but fair floor standards introduced by the government.

A school is below the floor if 40% of its pupils do not achieve at least five GCSEs at C or better including English and maths, and if pupils’ progress is not good enough in both those two subjects. Last year the floor standard was 35% in attainment, alongside the progress measures.

Overall 195 secondary schools are below the floor this year, 56 fewer than last year had the floor been the same (40%).

The statistics also demonstrate how sponsored academies increasingly turn to academic subjects once they have got pupils secure in the basics of English and maths.

There was a 6 percentage point increase (to 88%) in the proportion of sponsored academies offering the EBacc - the combination of core academic subjects most valued by universities and employers.

Across all state-funded schools, 16% of pupils achieved the EBacc, up almost one percentage point.

A DfE spokesman said:

These figures are further evidence of the great success of the Academies programme in turning around our weakest schools - sponsored academies are improving their GCSE results 5 times faster than other schools.

They reveal the amazing power of academy sponsors to turn around under-performing schools - often schools which have been persistently sub-standard.

This shows we are right to continue to support the sponsored Academies programme. These brilliant sponsors have a track record of arresting decline - and then reversing it.

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Published 24 January 2013