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More than 200 primary schools 'to become sponsored academies'

Tue 20 Dec 2011

Many under-performing primary schools will be made to adopt academy status, officials have stated.

According to the Office of the Schools Commissioner, 200 schools that have various weaknesses have been identified around the country, the Chronicle reports.

Ian Brady, spokesman for the group, said these will be paired with sponsors and adopt academy status in order to drive up standards and academic achievement.

Schools are deemed by the government to be falling short if more than 40 per cent of their pupils fail to achieve level four in their Key Stage 2 SATs.

Children aged 12 must also demonstrate they have improved significantly in the last four years.

Mr Brady said academies are no longer solely about boosting performance, as they now "form an integral part of the system".

Details of which schools will become sponsored academies have not yet been published.

Andrea Squires, a partner at Winckworth Sherwood Solicitors, commented: "The list of 200 has been much talked about and some clear proposals are emerging.

"Sponsored schools must find a school improvement partner and should be forming a multi academy trust. The governance arrangements need to be robust and accountable.

"Schools either looking to be sponsored or looking to support a weaker school should seek specialist advice."

This comes after education secretary Michael Gove said academies are helping to improve education standards, discipline in classrooms and reduce class sizes across the country.

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