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Increase in the number of sponsored primary academies

8 January 2014

The Department for Education have announced that 645 ‘underperforming’ primary schools have become sponsored academies since 2012, including over 400 last year. The vast majority of these have formed part of a multi academy trust with other schools. It is clear that the DfE remains committed to its view that where primary schools are deemed to be struggling, conversion to an academy with a strong sponsor will be the ‘normal route’ to secure improvement.

This policy will inevitably necessitate more organisations, including existing academy trusts, independent schools and diocesan bodies, to come forward to become new academy sponsors or for existing sponsors to take on more struggling schools. In addition, primary schools that are falling below floor targets are likely to come under increasing pressure to agree to sponsored academy status, with perhaps the incentive that they will be able to have a greater say in the identity of their academy sponsor.

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