Schoolzone investigated claims that schools can be made to improve by forcing the to convert to academies.
The government is promising/threatening to force low performing schools to become academies, despite the fact that the education select committee has reported in some detail, that they are no better at improving performance than other schools.
On this morning's Today programme*, Nick Gibb refuted - or at least refused to confirm - the committee's findings. As the GCSE data came out last week, we decided to look into this ourselves.
First though, let's clarify the government proposal: that weak schools have their leadership (presumably staff and governors) replaced by either that of another strong school, or from an academy trust. What isn't clear in the proposal is whether there are enough schools available to provide this support, nor where the funding would come from.
So, looking at the data, we need to take into account that:
Converter academies were all rated Good or Outstanding on conversion, so should perform better (See below for profiling used in this analysis)
Sponsored academies are mostly those which were performing badly before being forced in being an academy.
The ratings and school types are as they are now - not necessarily as they were when they achieved the results.
Full article here
*The Today programme which interviewed Nick Gibb was on 2 February 2014. The section begins with a short interview with Alasdair Smith, the Anti-Academies Alliance, before the longer interview with the Minister for School Reform. You can listen again here
(21 days to listen from 10 February) at around 1:09.00.