Busting the Myths part 2 – LA schools are outperforming academies

convertor academies by year

Progress over time?

The Ofsted report out last week has led even Michael Wilshaw to declare that schools do not do better if they convert to academy status. He should however have gone further and looked at the data, which shows that LA schools are improving at a faster rate and are the only category of schools that are improving.

Clearly we at the Anti Academies Alliance have been very critical of the role of Ofsted in the forced academisation programme. We are not in agreement that if a school is judged to be inadequate  by Ofsted, that the school does not provide a decent education for its students. However as Ofsted has often been used, as it was for the Downhills parents and staff, to argue a case for forced academisation, the fact that even Ofsted now say that status makes no difference proves that the programme has faltered. There should now be a halt to any further conversions and an inquiry into the whole programme.

The Ofsted website shows schools in three categories:

LA schools

Converter academies

Sponsored academies

Converter academies tend to be schools that were high performing maintained schools, that applied to convert following a change in the law in 2010. Sponsored academies tend to be schools that were poor performing maintained schools that have often been forced to be academies. Also known as ‘Traditional’ academies and started back in 2002.

If we add the number of schools that have good or outstanding Ofsted we see a rise in standards overall for all schools from 66% to 81% over the last 6 years.

But looking at each category we see that converter academies have gone down from 93% good or outstanding to 87% (over 4 years)

convertor academies by year









For sponsored academies from 57% to 53% (over 6 years).

sponsor led academies by year








The ONLY category of school that has shown improvement has been LA schools, rising from 66% to 81%.

la maintained schools by year








The number of schools achieving Outstanding in the 3 categories:

From 19% down to 12% for sponsored academies

From 56% down to 32% for converter academies

From 16% up to 18% for LA schools.


The number of schools with Requires Improvement or Inadequate grades:

sponsored academies up from 43% to 46%

converter academies up from 7% to 13%

LA schools down from  34% to 20%


The picture for secondaries is even starker, and here 56% are academies – sold the lie that status would improve performance. Sponsored academies have the highest ever number of inadequates and the lowest ever number of outstanding. Converter academies have the lowest ever number of out standings and from 0 inadequate schools to 2%.

Combining good and outstanding secondaries shows:

LA schools up 60% to 64%

progress LA

Converters down 91% to 84%

progress converters

Sponsored down 57% to 51%

progress sponsored

Looking at primary schools proves what we at the AAA have always said, schools need the support of the local authority and can thrive with that support.

Good and outstanding:

LA primaries up 66% to 81%

primary progress LA

Converters down 91% 89%

primary progress converter

Sponsored down 67% to 57%

primary progress sponsored

Looking at all four categories for all sectors, shows

Converter academies:

converter academies

Sponsored academies:


And the only category to show upward trends in good and outstanding, LA schools:

LA sec


The headline ‘Status does not make a difference’ is not true. Schools that have stayed with the local authority are showing a long-term trend of improvement, whilst the shine is coming off the academies programme. It needs a radical rethink before the lives of pupils are put at risk in an experiment that is not backed up be research and evidence and is now clearly shown to be far from the answer to school improvement.




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