300 primary schools forced to become academies

It has been reported that more than 300 primary schools across England have been forced to become academies in the last three years.

A Guardian investigation has shown that 314 schools were forcibly removed from local authority control after being rated inadequate by Ofsted, with the government paying a minimum of £18.4 million to academy trusts for taking on the schools.

The stability of the system is being questioned, predominantly by parents, with evidence that an increasing number of primary schools are being passed from one trust to another after conversion, causing long-term disruption and uncertainty.

The analysis of Department for Education data, carried out by the Guardian, shows that the number of primary schools transferred between academy trusts following conversion has tripled in just three years, from 39 to 121. Since 2013-14 more than 300 primary academies have been rebrokered or moved between trusts.

Angela Rayner, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said: “This is yet another sign that the Tories’ academy system is failing even on its own terms. The problem of ‘zombie schools’, abandoned by failing academy chains, is spreading at primary level, while other schools are passed from to trust to trust, leading to growing instability.”

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