No proof academies raise standards, say MPs

There is no clear evidence to show that “academies raise standards overall”, says a report from the Education Select Committee into England’s school system.

MPs are calling for more “openness” in the strengths and weaknesses of such state-funded independent schools which are a majority of secondary schools.

They say that the government should be less “defensive” about academy schools.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan says academies are “central” to “delivering the best schools”.

‘Huge disparities’

The report from the cross-party committee of MPs says that standards have risen in the state school system, but it is still too early to determine the impact of academies.

“Current evidence does not prove that academies raise standards overall or for disadvantaged children,” says committee chairman Graham Stuart.

“It is clear though that academisation has led to greater competition, challenging many maintained schools to improve and incentivising local authorities to develop speedier and more effective interventions in underperforming schools.”

The report calls for much more transparency on what really works in academies.

It argues that these autonomous state schools can be very successful, but the government needs to be much more open about the scheme and to improve supervision.

The report highlights the Ark and Harris academy chains as examples of success.

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