Over the last few days, as pupils and teachers head back into the classroom, the media has once again turned its attention to what is happening in our schools. Much of this weeks coverage was dedicated to the schools which are opening their doors for the first time as academies. This first round of academy transformations was either a qualified success or terrible failure, depending on your choice of newspaper. We can expect such partisan argument for the both sides of the debate until new schools start to generate useful data, which may take years.
The definitive numbers, taken from the DfE's own press release are:
- 142 schools converting to become academies: 32 are opening this week and a further 110 schools have had Academy Orders signed which means they are on track to convert to academies over the coming months.
- Of the 142, there are 7 primary schools which become the first ever primary academies to open. The Government has said that special schools will also be allowed to become academies from next year.
- 64 new academies replace failing schools this September plus a further 10 opening by April 2011. This is record progress; it took five years for 15 city technology colleges to open, and four years for the first 27 academies to open."