New research has revealed that nearly one in five academies across the country have been failing for an average of two-and-a-half years.
Dudley MP and member of the Education Select Committee Ian Austin asked the independent House of Commons Library to compile the figures. They show that 776 of the country’s 4,410 academies are currently rated inadequate or requires improvement, and have been in the bottom two categories for an average of two years and seven months.
Some academies fare even worse, with 270 that have been failing for three or more years, 181 for four or more years and 95 for five or more years.
The research casts doubt on the Department for Education’s ability to turn around failing academies at a time when the government is planning to convert all schools to academies.
Austin says that it shows the policy is unlikely to improve standards, and has called on the government to focus on school leadership and the quality and status of teaching instead.
Ian Austin MP said:
“The government should be making the quality of education our number one priority, but this research shows that it’s doing a bad job of running academies across the country.
“Labour's original academy programme did help struggling schools improve, but there's no evidence that forcing every school down this route will drive up standards. When one in five academies have been failing for an average of two-and-a-half years, what confidence can parents have that the government taking responsibility for every school will transform school standards as the Prime Minister pretends?
“Instead the government should listen to the evidence from experts like the Sutton Trust who say that the best way to improve school standards is to invest in leadership, teacher recruitment and teacher training.”