Academy conversions: why money doesn’t always talk

September 20, 2012

IOE LONDON BLOG

Rebecca Allen

Thousands of primary and secondary schools have chosen to convert to academy status (the chart below covers secondary education). A survey by the think-tank Reform showed that financial considerations were the most widely cited reason for conversion, as predicted by many, including The Guardian.Pie chart showing share of pupils by school type in May 2012

The financial gains arise because academies can directly claim their share of the Local Authority Central Spend Equivalent Grant (LACSEG) (pdf) in recognition of the fact that as independent schools they no longer receive a number of services from local authorities (LAs), and must make appropriate provision for themselves or do without these services. LACSEG money is spent by local authorities on:

  • Educational disadvantage: pupils with special needs but without statements, behaviour support services, educational welfare services, 14-16 practical programmes, assessing free school meals eligibility
  • Educational enrichment: music services, visual and performing arts, outdoor education, museum and library services
  • Risk sharing across schools

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What are Free Schools for?

October 4, 2011

CMPO Viewpoint

Rebecca Allen and Simon Burgess

As children start their lessons in the 24 Free Schools opening this week, a new experiment begins in English education. The founders and staff will have been working hard for this day over many months and no doubt all will wish the pupils and staff well. There has been a lot of politicalpassion on both sides of the debate, but what is the significance of the Free Schools experiment likely to be?

It is not an experiment because of the “free” part – Free schools will enjoy essentially the same freedoms as Academies do.  It is an experiment because now anyone can propose to set up a school, and attract the same per-pupil funding from the state as other local schools. Anyone can propose … but the vetting process to check whether the applicants are “fit and proper” to run a school is…

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Two observations on the National Audit Office’s Evaluation of Academies (via CMPO Viewpoint)

September 10, 2010

Two observations on the National Audit Office’s Evaluation of Academies Simon Burgess and Rebecca Allen Much of the media comment on today’s National Audit Office’s (NAO) report on academies has rightly focussed on issues of governance and financial management. In this post, we dig a little deeper into some of the other claims in the report.  We are less optimistic than the NAO – less optimistic that the academy programme has had a direct impact on the improvement of deprived and very poorly performing schools; and l … Read More

via CMPO Viewpoint