We take action to transform consistently under-performing schools, including those judged by Ofsted to be inadequate, into sponsored academies with a high quality sponsor who can turn performance around rapidly. Ofsted has implemented a more rigorous inspection framework, with performance data ensuring inspections are targeted on the weakest schools and a recognition that any school less than “good” is not performing well enough.
This year, in primary sponsored academies the proportion of pupils that achieved the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics improved by 3%, compared to 1% in local authority maintained schools.
In secondary sponsored academies, results have been improving faster than in other schools over recent years. For those open for three years, results have improved by 12% since opening, higher than the increase of 5% seen in local authority maintained schools over the same period.
We have issued statutory guidance1 to local authorities that make very clear our expectations that they should take swift and robust action when maintained schools are not good enough. This includes our expectation that poorly performing schools should become sponsored academies.