Do Results Improve If Schools Convert To Academies?26-04-2016
Do results improve if schools convert to academies? We were keen to find out the answer, and luckily SchoolDash had recently conducted a survey on this.
Currently, roughly 70% of academies now at secondary level are termed “converter” academies. These are academies that were successful schools prior to conversion. The SchoolDash survey claims there is no clear evidence that these academies have improved their GCSE results since changing their status. This implies that schools will not benefit from converting to academies.
However this is not always the case. SchoolDash conducted a separate study on sponsored academies; weaker schools (in terms of results) that have converted to academies. Their analysis proves that these academies actually do tend to improve, including their disadvantaged pupils.
The study finds that schools with consistently good results don’t show a pattern of improvement once their status has changed. However, under-performing schools do show a trend of improvement, suggesting that changing weak schools to academies may help them to catch up with the converter academies that were already high-performing. This will help diminish the gap between the high-grade and the low-grade educational institutions.
However, the survey doesn’t state how soon after conversion the study was conducted on each school, and whether it was studied in schools nationwide or just in one geographical location. We would be interested to see a follow-up survey conducted in perhaps a year’s time to compare this survey to, to see if the results of academy status are sustainable in the long term and indeed accurate.