More evidence today in the Financial Times
(unfortunately behind a paywall) that early academy converter schools have been given a cash bonus that they didn't deserve due to a miscalculation of the money needed to purchase services no longer provided by local authorities.
According to the article by Education Correspondent Christopher Cook, even the DFE now admits that the system needs to be made fairer and more transparent in the future. I think that is as close an admission we will get that it has not been fair and transparent in the past.
According to Cook 842 schools converted in 2010-11 and an average 1000 pupil secondary would have received a £118 K bonus. Almost 800 schools may have been overfunded in 2011-12 Schools in some boroughs received upwards of £300 K . He quotes a councillor in the London borough of Hillingdon explaining that in his borough converter schools received an extra £358 K . This, he added, was the real reason many schools opted for academy status NOT the lure of extra freedom.
In the meantime local authorities budgets are still being top sliced to claw back the money that Cook notes has been "sluiced" into these schools. Even some academy sponsors and the new Chief Inspector of Schools Michael Wilshaw
are , according to the article, now worried about whether stand alone academies will have the capacity to raise standards as predicted.