This is not the headline the Department for Education used earlier this month when it announced the latest figures for the number of open and converting academies. On that page you see a map with markers showing the number of academies. You can even zoom in on a location of interest. The DfE kindly supply a code to embed the map on your own website if you so wish. Unfortunately, I am unable to, so you will have to make do with a link to the map:
It all looks very impressive. I was more interested in the spreadsheet of academies, which you can also download from the open academies page.
While it shows both sponsored and converted academies, it doesn’t immediately show those schools which are not academies (either sponsored or converted). From the data it is interesting that in some LEA areas, there are very few academies. Fortunately, someone at the Anti Academies Alliance has worked out the number of schools in each LEA that remain non academies.
Overall, 68% of secondaries are not academies, but this is not evenly distributed across England, with some LEAs with up to 100% of secondaries not converting into academies. For primary schools, even fewer are converting. Across England 98% remain LEA schools.
The Government is, understandably using the latest academy figures to demonstrate how the popularity of its academy conversion policy. However, the figures, while telling us how many are converting, as well as how many are not, don’t tell us about the motivations of heads and governing bodies. It would be interesting to know the reasons why some schools are converting. One converted school I know made reference in its recent newsletter to the ubiquitous, and rather non specific claim that academy status will provide more control, yet, it doesn’t appear that enthusiastic about its new status, keeping its old name. Many other recently converted schools have done the same. It hardly indicates an enthusiastic embracing of the Government’s academy policy.