NFER response to Government announcement on plans for full academisation by 2030


Wednesday 25 May 2022

Responding to today’s Government announcement on implementation plans for achieving full academisation by 2030, Jenna Julius, Senior Economist at the National Foundation for Educational Research said:

“We welcome the detail of the Government's plans for all schools to be in a multi-academy trust by 2030, but it remains to be seen whether its proposals are sufficient to meet its ambitions.

“It is clear that local authorities will be expected to play a key role for the Government to successfully achieve its plans.

“Given that research has shown that academisation is not a panacea for school improvement, it is important that academisation is not treated as a substitute for a properly funded school system, led by high-quality teachers and evidence-based practice and approaches.”

Some of the other key takeaways for us are:  

  • It appears that the 24 Priority Education Investment Areas, which are amongst the lowest performing and most deprived areas of the country, are likely to be among the first to be targeted first for full academisation.
  • The expectation outlined in today’s implementation plans is that local authority established MATs will start off as relatively small and grow over time. As such, local authority-established MATs are unlikely to have a substantial impact on the school system in the short-term.
  • The Government says it plans to adopt an area-based approach for MAT development. Many of the schools which have not yet become MATs face a unique set of circumstances and challenges. It is not clear to what extent local commissioning plans will enable sufficient suitable matches between MATs which wish to expand, and standalone schools within a local area.