ASCL response to Sutton Trust report on academy chains

20 December 2018

Commenting on the Sutton Trust report ‘Chain Effects 2018: The impact of academy chains on low-income pupils’, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“It is important to understand that many multi-academy trusts take on schools which have been judged by Ofsted as inadequate and which are therefore likely to have results that are below-average. Different trusts will have different mixes of schools at different starting points. Securing sustainable improvement takes time and this is particularly challenging given that schools are inadequately funded by the government and face severe teacher shortages.

“The Sutton Trust’s report gives us a valuable insight into a system which is evolving and useful practical recommendations about how to maintain the impetus for improvement. We would urge people against using these findings for political point-scoring and anti-academy rhetoric. We need to focus our energies on supporting schools to improve rather than indulging in endless ideological battles over school structures.”