1.4m more pupils in good or better local authority schools since 2010, minister implies*

Janet Downs's picture

The Government’s been peddling the same line for a couple of years.  There are 1.9 million (sometimes two million) more pupils in good or better schools since 2010, the Department for Education has claimed.

The DfE’s been told the statistic ‘does not give a full picture’.  Full Fact has bluntly said the Government should be using inspection data in this way.  But technically it’s correct.

If the DfE persists in using the data, which it does, then what can we make of its latest presentation of inspection figures?

Lord Agnew, the minister whose responsibilities include academies, was up before the education select committee last week, Schools Week reports.   Lord Agnew told MPs that thanks to academisation, 500,000 more pupils were in good or better schools.

That’s 1.4 million short of the widely-repeated 1.9 million.  It appears Lord Agnew is admitting that the schools responsible for 1.4 million pupils being in good or better schools are not academies.  If not academies, they must be in local authority schools.

It appears, then, that academisations has been less successful in upgrading less than good schools to good or better than remaining with a local authority.

According to Schools Week, Agnew said school improvement brought about by academisation ‘isn’t as fast as we would like’.

But if fewer academies have improved to good or better than LA schools, then it might be better if academisation was halted. 

You heard the evidence from Lord Agnew’s lips first.

*WARNING:  The article above is slightly tongue-in-cheek.  My analysis is potentially misleading.  I admit it – which is more than the DfE and ministers do when they use inspection data to claim the increased number or proportion of good or better schools since 2010 is wholly due to post-2010 policies including academisation.

On this occasion, however, it appears the DfE has been hoisted by its own petard.


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