Academisation: Letting businesses run schools leads to riches for some but a poorer education

The arrival of academisation really marked a step up in the ascent of the role of business in the education sphere. Businesses came to run schools.

Now, a rudimentary bit of education should make clear to any student (or politician) that business does not get involved in anything other than to make a profit. The common good has very little role to play for the business.

So the academy model has been used by businesses across the country to get into education and very nicely have many of them done out of it. The schools are taken out of local authority regulation and handed over to business. This often sees the teachers treated as commodities to be disposed of at will. Those at the top of academy trusts reward themselves handsomely, often to the detriment of the teaching staff.

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Academy transfer market costs hit £30m as 300 more schools rebrokered this year

Costs for the academy transfer market have surpassed the £30 million mark as a record number of academies were rebrokered this year.

Figures released by the Department for Education today show that 307 academies moved to a new trust in 2018-19, equating 3.6 per cent of all open academies in England. This is an increase from 255 last year (3.3 per cent) and 196 in 2016-17 (3 per cent).

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Fifth of academies change hands because sponsor closes

More than a fifth of academies changing hands last year did so because the sponsoring trust closed, new figures show.

The proportion of academies moving trust has also risen sevenfold in six years, according to Department for Education statistics.


In 2017-18, a sponsor closing was the cause of 22 out of 255 transfers – 8.6 per cent. In 2018-19, a sponsor closing was the reason behind 67 of the 307 academies which transferred – 21.8 per cent.

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Bigger MATs are less efficient, report finds

Bigger multi-academy trusts have higher per-pupil costs than smaller trusts, a new analysis has found.

The study also concluded that oversight functions performed by academies cost more per pupil than in local authorities and that the English school system is an expensive “muddle” that hits vulnerable pupils.

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News Financial self-assessment check for academies to become mandatory

Academy trusts will be required to complete an annual finance check-up as part of the government’s push to level up accountability across all school types.

The self-assessment tool helps trusts check the strength of their financial and resource management systems. The move to make it mandatory, at the end of this academic year, will ensure “there is no area in which we are requiring a weaker accountability of academies than of maintained schools”, the government said.

The announcement was made as part of the launch of the Department for Education’s consultation on accountability in maintained schools, and comes after a stinging critique on the self-evaluation of academy trusts from Ofsted earlier this week.

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