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academies conversion now open to all schools as total passes 600

15 April 2011

More than 600 schools are now academies (compared to 203 in May 2010), with nearly 500 waiting to convert having already applied to the Department for Education. Nearly 550 secondary schools are now academies, representing 16.5% of secondary schools.

Until now, conversion was open only to schools judged by Ofsted to be Outstanding or Good with Outstanding Features (which have been able to convert in their own right) and other schools if applying as part of wider chains, supported by strong schools. However, in response to demand from other mainstream and special schools wishing to become stand-alone academies, the Government will now consider applications from any school that can make a compelling case for converting to academy status. Criteria include exam performance over the last three years, and comparison with local and national exam performance.

It is clear that academy status is so far very popular amongst schools, which, it would appear, consider the greater freedoms promised by the Government to be a great incentive.

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