New figures from the Department of Education show that momentum is building for the Coalition Government’s flagship school reform, with the number of academies having doubled in just eight months since the General Election.
407 academies are now open in England, while the figure for secondary school academies of 371 represents 11% of all secondary schools in England.
Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, said:
“Schools are taking up our offer to become academies because they recognise the huge benefits of being an academy – more autonomy, more power to teachers, and an opportunity to thrive, free from interference from government.
“The Coalition believes that headteachers and teachers – not politicians and bureaucrats – know best how to run schools. That’s why all school now have the opportunity to become academies, with stronger schools supporting weaker ones.”
At least one school has converted to become an academy every school day since September. 204 new academies have opened in total since September, of which 136 were schools converting to becoming academies, and which will now use their academy freedoms to support weaker schools. 68 were weaker schools that had been granted academy status and new sponsors to help them turn round underperformance.
Under Labour, it took four years to open the first 27 academies.