A tale of eight regions: Part 1: Snapshot of the evolving school system across the Regional Schools Commissioner areas
A tale of eight regions: Part 1: Snapshot of the evolving school system across the Regional Schools Commissioner areas

Jude Hillary, Claire Easton, Daniele Bernardinelli and Geoff Gee

Research Report, November 2016


Following our 2015 ‘A Guide to Regional Schools Commissioners’, we are publishing two reports about Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) areas across England. In the first report, we focus on the evolving schools’ landscape since RSCs were introduced in 2014 and explore how regions have changed in terms of the number and proportion of academies and free schools. This is presented as a comparative ‘overview’, followed by eight individual ‘region profiles’.

Key Findings:
  • Twenty-nine per cent of all state schools in England are academies, an increase of four percentage points since September 2015.
  • The proportion of academies continues to vary by phase and RSC region; two-thirds of secondary schools are academies compared to one-in-five primary schools.
    • Overall growth in primary academisation in 2016 has exceeded secondary growth for the first time. Growth in the proportion of schools becoming academies has been steadily falling across both phases in recent years, but the decline in growth in the secondary sector has been steeper.
  • The difference in academisation within regions is greater than differences between regions.
  • There are variations in the proportions of underperforming LA maintained schools becoming sponsor-led academies.
  • The number of schools in single- and multi-academy trusts by region also varies; this may make it more difficult for some RSCs to find sufficient sponsors in the future.

In our second report, published in April 2017, we will use the latest performance data to explore the future challenges RSCs face to support schools in their areas.

Regional Schools Comissioners - The picture in your region

East Midlands & the Humber | East of England & North-East London
Lancashire & West Yorkshire | North of England
South-Central England & North-West London | South-East England & South London
South West England | West Midlands

To see a list of local authorities in each Regional Schools Commissioner region, please click here.


Further Information:
Format: 29pp
Sponsor(s): NFER


How to cite this publication:

Hillary, J., Easton, C., Bernardinelli, D. and Gee, G. (2016). A Tale of Eight Regions - Part 1: Snapshot of the evolving school system across the Regional School Commissioner areas. Slough: NFER.


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