Academies falling below the ‘floor target’

Research note

Academies falling below the ‘floor target’


The government have set 35% 5A*-Cs with English and Maths (or equivalent) as the floor target for all schools. In other  words, below this schools become ready targets for compulsory conversion to academies.


Nationally, 1 in 34 maintained secondary schools are below the floor.

For academies, the ratio is 1 in 7. (If  selective schools such as former grammar schools are omitted from the calculation, it is around 1 in 6.) So proportion academies are five times as likely to fall ‘below floor’ than other schools.


In the context of June 2011 results, the Department for Education data includes as academies those opened by mid September 2010. It is reasonable to argue that it is unfair to judge the success of academies when they have only been open for a year. The problem is, the ratio is roughly the same when we look at academies open for longer.


Of 269 open 1 or more years          39 below floor, or 1 in 7

Of 184 open 2 or more years          26 below floor,  1 in 7

Of 120 open 3 or more years          17 below floor,  1 in 7

Of 76 open 4 or more years                        8 below floor,  1 in 9

Of 44 open 5 or more years                        6 below floor,  1 in 7

Of 27 open 6 or more years                        3 below floor,  1 in 9

Of 17 open 7 or more years                        2 below floor,  1 in 8

Of 12 open 8 or more years                        2 below floor, 1 in 6

Of 3 open 9 or more years              1 below floor,  1 in 3


Clearly it doesn’t matter how long schools are open as academies, this doesn’t protect them from falling below the government’s ‘floor target’.


Some of these schools have been bouncing on the bottom for years. Perhaps they should be closed as academies and re-opened as community comprehensive schools.?




Terry Wrigley (3 Feb 2012)

(See also Research Note on Equivalents, which shows that many more academies would fall below ‘floor’ but for their excessive use of ‘equivalent’ qualifications.)

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3 Responses to Academies falling below the ‘floor target’

  1. Andrea Wilson says:

    The web admin has deleted the content of this post. We have asked the contributor to desist from personal attacks but they have continued. This is the first time we have felt it necessary to do this and hope it will be the last.

  2. Jane says:

    Unfortunately, it is not true that the schools which became academies under Labour were all “failing” schools. 6 had been private schools and, as Terry Wrigley pointed out, several were high performing schools. At least one was deemed to be outstanding by Ofsted. Others were previously selective and in receipt of extra cash, for example all but 3 of the City Technology Colleges became academies.

    It is unfortunate that it is not those who oppose academies who have been manipulating the evidence.

  3. noel says:

    Wher are you getting this data? Are you using the spreadsheets provided at the DofE? Why 269 academies if by Sept 2011 there were 700+?

    It seems to me that you’re only looking at Blair’s academies (200+ existed in May 2010) which were converted disadvantaged schools, designed to cater for those that were less academically inclined. If this is the case, then you would of course expect worse results than the average, as they were already failing schools. It sounds like you’re manipulating the evidence.

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