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Does below floor standards really mean academisation?

17 December 2013

A piece in the Guardian today questions recent press coverage around primary league tables and the vulnerability of those falling below floor targets. The article states that only 1 in 5 primaries which underperformed last year have now become a sponsored academy.

The DfE’s clear policy expectation is that where schools have a history of falling below floor targets, conversion with a strong sponsor is the “normal route” to improvement. Primaries, particularly in target geographical areas, are being put under pressure to become academies. Legally however, purely being below floor targets does not mean a school can directly be forced to become an academy. A school’s Ofsted grade and the local authority’s position in terms of securing improvement as a maintained school will be important factors too.

The Guardian’s piece also mentions primaries who “narrowly avoided forced academisation”. Certainly those governing bodies concerned about results may have more choices than they think.

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