Lord Nash says it’s unacceptable most E-Act pupils don’t receive a good education, but uses letter to spin sponsored academy performance

Janet Downs's picture
“In recent years, the results of sponsored academies have gone up faster than other state-funded schools, turning around some of our worst schools.”

Lord Nash, letter to E-Act 25 March 2014

This statement can only be justified by comparing sponsored academies, most of which were established from under-performing schools, with all state schools. The “improvement” is judged from a lower base. A school where results rose from 20% to 40% would have a higher “improvement” rate than one where results rose from 75% to 79%.

But when sponsored academies are compared with similar non-academies, the latter slightly outperform the former.

Sponsored academies have been a “transformational change in our school system”, Lord Nash writes, and he regrets that E-Act wasn’t part of this.

Lord Nash reminds E-Act that it’s currently under a Financial Notice to Improve but believes E-Act has made “significant progress” towards addressing the Notice’s requirements. But he then reminds E-Act that two of its academies have received two pre-warning notices. He told E-Act he would be issuing three more.

In November 2011, Education Secretary Michael Gove said:

“The Harris academies, like those of ARK, E-ACT, ULT and others are providing children with the opportunity to transcend the circumstances of their birth, just as the grammar schools of the past gave an, admittedly smaller, proportion of their predecessors similar opportunities.”

But the majority of pupils in E-Act academies, Ofsted has now discovered, aren’t receiving a “good education”.


Michael Gove has constantly banged the drum for academy chains – he wanted them to grow as quickly as possible.


Well now they have. 14 have been “paused”, evidence has emerged of academy trustees benefiting financially from contracts, the use of equivalent exams in some of the longer-established chains including E-Act has increased since 2011, the Department for Education has “guided” schools into the arms of chains which have received pre-warning notices and £1 billion has been overspent on the academies programme.

And still Lord Nash boasts of “transformational change”.
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Be notified by email of each new post.


Emma's picture
Tue, 25/03/2014 - 22:25

Have you seen who is head of director of education at e-act?

David joined E-ACT in 2012 as Head of Education Data, and became Deputy Director in October 2013. David is an assessment and education specialist, with significant experience gained working in national education organisations and schools. He has been an Ofsted inspector of schools and early years settings since 2007, and to date has inspected over 150 primary and secondary schools, including academies. David is a trained and experienced lead inspector of Section 5 inspections, and also participates in section 8 visits to schools causing concern.

Prior to joining E-ACT, David held various senior roles in national assessment with Edexcel and Pearson Education over 6 years. This included close working with Ofqual and QCA/QCDA. He latterly had responsibility for the development of national curriculum tests at key stages 2 and 3, the basic skills tests, and led teams of subject experts, project managers and assessment associates. He has also contributed to the development of national tests for the Welsh government and the Abu Dhabi Education Council. David’s teaching career included senior leadership roles in assessment and data in London. David is the co-author of a series of textbooks for a well-known education publisher, aimed at pupils aged 7-14 learning English as an additional language. He has extensive experience in education governance. A school governor since 2000, David has worked on governing boards of infant, primary and secondary schools, a sixth form college, and a local authority’s children’s services overview and scrutiny committee advising elected members. He is currently serving as a sponsor governor in a secondary academy. In addition to degrees in Education with English, a Masters degree in Education leadership and management and a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning, David is also a qualified Prince2 and MSP Practitioner.

Janet Downs's picture
Wed, 26/03/2014 - 08:43

Emma - this CV doesn't seem to correspond with what David Moran says on E-Act website or on his Linkedin profile. According to these he was employed by Tribal Group in the USA. Before that he was employed at SSAT and as Deputy Head at Addington High School. Nothing about Edexcel or Pearson. The only book I could find authored by a David Moran was "Weight Loss for People with Diabetes".

Add new comment

Already a member? Click here to log in before you comment. Or register with us.