‘No proof’ free schools improve performance


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The Independent Online

There is no evidence that Government investment in new education structures such as academies and free schools has had any impact on pupil performance, according to a major study.

The research by academics at London University’s Institute of Education concludes that effective teaching was a far more likely source for improving performance than school structure.

It adds that, in many cases where there were improvements in performance, it was likely to be down to the social background of the pupils rather than the structure of the school.

The report, posted online for the Centre for Longitudinal Studies by Roxanne Connelly, Alice Sullivan and John Jerrim, said there were indications that the first tranche of academy schools  “did lead to improved performance at GCSE but only once they had been established for some time”.

However, it added: “Many of the newest academies were successful before conversion and there is no evidence to suggest these schools are more successful than schools with comparable intakes.”