Schools Commissioner Calls For More Academies In Essex
The Schools Commissioner for England (16/6/2014) called on more excellent schools to consider academy status to further boost the standard of education in Essex.
Frank Green, who ran a highly successful chain of academies for 5 years, is in Colchester this morning (Wednesday) to meet heads and governors from the county to discuss the merits of becoming an academy - and to encourage existing academies to take the next step and become academy sponsors to help transform other, weaker schools.
Figures show how Essex County Council and schools in the county have embraced the government’s academy programme - to the benefit of their pupils.
As of May 2014 there were more than 3,800 academies across England. In Essex there are 137 open academies with primary academies making up 16% of all primary schools in the county and secondary academies making up 83% of all secondary schools. Both are among the highest proportions in England.
Mr Green’s visit comes as latest figures show how academies in Essex are driving up education standards in the county:
Headteachers at a number of existing academies are also leading the way in using their expertise to improve standards elsewhere.
Rated outstanding by Ofsted, the Burnt Mill Academy in Harlow converted to an academy in December 2011 and has since sponsored 4 primary schools. The 4 primary schools are Freshwaters Primary Academy, Roydon Primary School, Spinney Junior School and Little Parndon Primary School.
Also rated outstanding (in 2009), Lyons Hall School in Braintree converted in April 2012 and has developed the Learning Pathway Trust, which is now sponsoring another school, White Hall Academy, boosting its overall performance. White Hall Academy’s predecessor, Coppins Green Primary School, was last inspected in October 2011 and rated as inadequate and given a notice to improve. But in 2013, 65% of pupils at White Hall Academy achieved at least the expected level (level 4) in the 3 Rs - an improvement of 10 percentage points from 2012.
And at the Greensward Academy in Hockley, also rated outstanding by Ofsted, the school operates a 5-term year. The 8-week terms are followed by 2-week breaks and a 5-week summer holiday. The school says pupils benefit from a regular learning pattern and that terms of even length raises standards. The proportion of pupils achieving 5 or more GCSEs A* to C including English and maths has risen from 60% in 2008 to 75% in 2013.
Schools Commissioner Frank Green said:
Tim Coulson, Essex County Council Director for Commissioning: Education and Lifelong Learning, said:
The event at Weston Homes football stadium is hosted by Essex County Council and includes talks from the Schools Commissioner and headteachers from across the region. Speakers will highlight the benefits of academies working together and sharing governance.
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