Any future expansion of the academies programme requires a clear vision of how it will improve outcomes for learners, argues NFER Thinks paper
15 May 2015
Since their introduction, the number of academy schools has been growing rapidly each year. While the Conservative Manifesto pledged to continue increasing their number, NFER argues that now is the time to assess whether further expansion is warranted, and indeed feasible. According to our paper published today, any future expansion of the academies programme requires a clear vision of how it will improve the long-term outcomes for learners.
Academies: It’s time to learn the lessons reviews what has been learnt from academies to date and identifies some of the challenges facing the new administration, including:
- A better articulated rationale for the policy
- Ensuring the right evidence is collected and appropriate evaluation is conducted
- Ensuring there is enough capacity for the system to expand, i.e. high quality sponsors
- Suitable oversight and accountability arrangements for all schools of whatever type.
This publication is part of a portfolio of evidence that the NFER has compiled on academies, all of which can be found here. Other publications include:
- A guide to the evidence compiled by NFER researchers
- Findings related to academies from NFER’s survey of parents
- A factsheet on what is known about academies and free schools
- Analysis of GCSE results in 2011, 2012 and 2013.