Press release

No significant link between academy status and improved pupil progress in latest GCSE results, says new research

1 July 2015

NFER research evidence published today shows that there is no significant difference in overall school performance between academies and similar maintained schools in 2014. This is the conclusion from the Analysis of academy school performance in GCSEs 2014 report, commissioned by the Local Government Association.

This report explores the association between academy status for secondary schools and the attainment of pupils in 2014 GCSE exams, by comparing sponsored and converter academies that have been open for between two and four years and a group of maintained schools that had similar characteristics at the time the schools became academies. Due to inherent differences between them, sponsored and converter academies have been analysed and compared separately.

The key findings of the report are:

Commenting on the report Carole Willis, NFER Chief Executive, said: “Growth in the number of academy schools to more than 4,000 in 2015 means that it is crucial to continually evaluate the impact that structural changes are having on schools to  inform future policy developments. This is consistent with our recent Thinkpiece on Academies, which argues that any future expansion of the academies programme requires a clear vision from the new government of how it will improve the long-term outcomes for learners.”


More information an academies can be found here:

Contact information:
Jane Parrack, NFER Marketing & Communications Manager: 01753 637245;

Note to editors
About LGA
The Local Government Association is the national voice of local government. We work with councils to support, promote and improve local government. This research report is referenced in the LGA press release: School Standards, Not Structures – say Councils released on 00.01, Wednesday 1 July 2015.; @LocalLeadership

About NFER
NFER has a worldwide reputation for providing independent and rigorous research in education. As a charity, any surplus generated by the Foundation is reinvested in research projects to provide evidence that improves education and the life chances of learners in the UK and beyond.; @TheNFER