Two thirds of academy trusts have below-average results for disadvantaged pupils

New research into how the sponsored academies programme has served the interests of disadvantaged pupils across the country has found “significant variation” in outcomes for pupils eligible for free school meals.

Analysis by professors Becky Francis and Merryn Hutchings found that while a small number of chains are “consistently outperforming”, a larger number are achieving results “that are not improving and may be harming the prospects of their disadvantaged students”.

In 2017, poorer pupils in 12 of the 58 trusts included in the study attained above the national average, with three chains – the City of London Academies Trust, the Diocese of London and the Harris Federation – achieving “well above”.

However, disadvantaged pupils at 30 of the chains performed below average, and a further further eight trusts recorded “well below average” attainment for that group.

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