Academy schools are state-funded schools in England which are directly funded by the Department for Education and independent of local authority control. The terms of the arrangements are set out in individual Academy Funding Agreements. Most academies are secondary schools (and most secondary schools are academies). However, slightly more than 25% of primary schools (4,363 as of December 2017), as well as some of the remaining first, middle and secondary schools, are also academies.
Academies are self-governing non-profit charitable trusts and may receive additional support from personal or corporate sponsors, either financially or in kind. They do not have to follow the National Curriculum, but do have to ensure that their curriculum is broad and balanced, and that it includes the core subjects of mathematics and English. They are subject to inspection by Ofsted.
The following are all types of academy:
- Sponsored academy: A formerly maintained school that has been transformed to academy status as part of a government intervention strategy. They are consequently run by a Government-approved sponsor. They are sometimes referred to as traditional academies.
- Converter academy: A formerly maintained school that has voluntarily converted to academy status. It is not necessary for a converter academy to have a sponsor.
- Free school: Free schools are new academies established since 2011 via the Free School Programme. From May 2015, usage of the term was also extended to new academies set up via a Local Authority competition. The majority of free schools are similar in size and shape to other types of academy. However, the following are distinctive sub-types of free school:
- Faith academy:An academy with an official faith designation.
- Co-operative academy: An academy that uses an alternative co-operative academy agreement.
An academy trust that operates more than one academy is known as a multi-academy trust, although sometimes the terms academy group or academy federation are used instead. An academy chain is a group of trusts working together under a shared management structure.
An academy is governed by the Academy Agreement it makes with the Department for Education, and at that point it severs connections with the local education authority. The current advisory text is the Academy and free school: master funding agreement dated March 2018. The governors of the academy are obliged to publish an annual report and accounts, that are open to scrutiny.
All academies are expected to follow a broad and balanced curriculum but many have a particular focus on, or formal specialism in, one or more areas such as science; arts; business and enterprise; computing; engineering; mathematics; modern foreign languages; performing arts; sport; or technology. Although academies are required to follow the National Curriculum in the core subjects of maths, English and science, they are otherwise free to innovate; however, as they participate in the same Key Stage 3 and GCSE exams as other English schools, they teach a curriculum very similar to maintained schools, with only small variations.
Like other state-funded schools, academies are required to adhere to the National Admissions Code, although newly established academies with a faith designation are subject to the 50% Rule requiring them to allocate at least half of their places without reference to faith.
In terms of their governance, academies are established as companies limited by guarantee with a Board of Directors that acts as a Trust. The Academy Trust has exempt charity status, regulated by the Department for Education. The trustees are legally, but not financially, accountable for the operation of the academy. The Trust serves as the legal entity of which the school is part. The trustees oversee the running of the school, sometimes delegating responsibility to a local governing body which they appoint. The day-to-day management of the school is, as in most schools, conducted by the Head Teacher and their senior management team.
In Sponsored Academies, the sponsor is able to influence the process of establishing the school, including its curriculum, ethos, specialism and building (if a new one is built). The sponsor also has the power to appoint governors to the academy's governing body.
The Labour Government under Tony Blair established academies through the Learning and Skills Act 2000, which amended the section of the Education Act 1996 relating to City Technology Colleges. They were first announced in a speech by David Blunkett, then Secretary of State for Education and Skills, in 2000. He said that their aim was "to improve pupil performance and break the cycle of low expectations." As of 2018 many academies are struggling financially and running deficits.
The chief architect of the policy was Andrew Adonis (now Lord Adonis, formerly Secretary of State at the Department for Transport) in his capacity as education advisor to the Prime Minister in the late 1990s.
Academies were known as City Academies for the first few years, but the term was changed to Academies by an amendment in the Education Act 2002. The term Sponsored Academies was applied retroactively to this type of academy, to distinguish it from other types of academy that were enabled later.
Sponsored Academies originally needed a private sponsor who could be an individual (such as Sir David Garrard, who sponsors Business Academy Bexley), organisations such as the United Learning Trust, mission-driven businesses such as The Co-operative Group or outsourcing for-profit businesses such as Amey plc). These sponsors were expected to bring "the best of private-sector best practice and innovative management" to academies, "often in marked contrast to the lack of leadership experienced by the failing schools that academies have replaced" (known as predecessor schools). They were originally required to contribute 10% of the academy's capital costs (up to a maximum of £2m). The remainder of the capital and running costs were met by the state in the usual way for UK state schools through grants funded by the local authority.
The Government later removed the requirement for financial investment by a private sponsor in a move to encourage successful existing schools and charities to become sponsors.
Sponsored Academies typically replaced one or more existing schools, but some were newly established. They were intended to address the problem of entrenched failure within English schools with low academic achievement, or schools situated in communities with low academic aspirations. Often these schools had been placed in "special measures" after an Ofsted inspection, as has been the case for schools in the Co-op Academies Trust (one of the larger business-supported trusts). They were expected to be creative and innovative because of their financial and academic freedoms, in order to deal with the long-term issues they were intended to solve.
By May 2010 there were 203 Sponsored Academies in England.
The Academies Act 2010 sought to increase the number of academies. It enabled all maintained schools to convert to academy status, known as Converter Academies and enabled new academies to be created via the Free School Programme.
At the same time the new Conservative-led Coalition Government announced that they would redirect funding for school Specialisms [i.e. Technology College Status] into mainstream funding. This meant that Secondary Schools would no longer directly receive ring-fenced funds of c£130K from Government for each of their specialisms. One way to regain some direct control over their finances was to become a Converter Academy and receive all of their funding direct from Government, with the possibility of buying in services at a cheaper rate. This, along with some schools wanting more independence from local authority control, meant that many state secondary schools in England converted to academy status in subsequent years.
By April 2011, the number of academies had increased to 629, and by August 2011, reached 1,070. By July 2012 this number reached 1,957, double that of the previous year. and, at 1 November 2013, it stood at 3,444.
There are no academies in Wales or Scotland, where education policy is devolved.
The Education Funding Agency monitors financial management and governance of academies. In March 2016 the Perry Beeches The Academy Trust, a multi-academy trust, was found to have deleted financial records for £2.5 million of free school meal funding, and that the chief executive was being paid by sub-contractors as well as by the trust. Its schools are likely to be taken over by a new trust. In August 2016, the former principal and founder of Kings Science Academy, the former finance director, and a former teacher who was the founder's sister were found guilty of defrauding public funds of £150,000.
In October 2017, the Wakefield City Academies Trust collapsed, and The Observer reported that "Wakefield City Academies Trust now stands accused of 'asset stripping" after it transferred millions of pounds of the schools' savings to its own accounts before collapsing. On 8 September it released a statement announcing it would divest itself of its 21 schools as it could not undertake the 'rapid improvement our academies need' ".
The converting procedure (2018)
The governors of a school are persuaded to consider academy status, perhaps in response to an approach by a multi-academy trust (MAT). They have two choices: remain with their current local authority, or join a multi-academy trust; converting to be a stand-alone trust ceased to be an option prior to 2018. If they were only given a 'satisfactory' (now referred to as 'requir[ing] improvement') Ofsted rating, they don't have the power to make the decision. The governors assess the MATs available and willing to take them on. Ethos and values, geographical mix of schools and practicality, how individual schools have succeeded in retaining their identity, value for money, and the trust's capacity to support the development of schools and staff are all factors that are compared. The governors then select a partner trust.:3
They then register interest with the DfE and inform the Regional Schools Commission. Governors open consultation with parents and staff, and with this information make a decision as to whether to proceed. Assuming they do, the Regional Schools Commissioner approves the decision to join the selected trust and the Secretary of State issues an academy order. The school staff to are transferred to the MAT in accordance with TUPE regulations, and land and commercial assets are transferred from the local authority. The school can change its mind until documents are sent to the Secretary of State in order to be signed; this is usually around three weeks before the agreed conversion date. :9
There are legal costs involved, and £25,000 is given to a converting academy to cover these costs. The local authority must grant a 125-year lease to the academy trust for the land. School land and playing fields are protected under Section 77 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. The school pays a proportion of its central funding to the MAT for shared services but can in theory take better measures to ensure best value. :8
Whilst still in the fairly early stage of development, supporters pointed to emerging data showing "striking" improvements in GCSE results for academies compared to their predecessors, with early results showing that "GCSE results are improving twice as fast in academies as in state schools".
- They seem, so far, to be working – not all as spectacularly as Mossbourne, but much better than most of the struggling inner-city schools they replaced.
The article singles out the cited academy, Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney, as "apparently the most popular [school] in Britain – at least with politicians" and "the top school in the country for value-added results".
Criticism and opposition
Academies have continued to be controversial, and their existence has frequently been opposed and challenged by some politicians, commentators, teachers, teachers' unions, and parents. Even after several years of operation and with a number of academies open and reporting successes, the programme continues to come under attack for creating schools that are said to be, among other things, a waste of money, selective, damaging to the schools and communities around them, forced on parents who do not want them, and a move towards privatisation of education "by the back door".
Opposition within Labour
The introduction of academy schools was opposed, notably by teachers' trade unions and some high-profile members within the Labour Party, such as former party leader Lord Kinnock. Neil Kinnock criticised the academies scheme saying that they were a "distortion of choice" and risked creating a "seller's market" with "schools selecting parents and children instead of parents selecting schools".
Education Select Committee in 2005
The House of Commons Education and Skills Select Committee reported in March 2005 that it would have been wiser to limit the programme to 30 or 50 academies in order to evaluate the results before expanding the programme, and that "the rapid expansion of the Academy policy comes at the expense of rigorous evaluation". The Select Committee was concerned that the promising results achieved by some academies may be due to increased exclusions of harder-to-teach pupils. They noted that two Middlesbrough academies had expelled 61 pupils, compared to just 15 from all other secondary schools in the borough.
Criticism of choice of sponsors
The programme of creating academies has also been heavily criticised by some for handing schools to private sector entrepreneurs who in many cases have no experience of the education sector: such as the Evangelical Christian car dealer, Sir Peter Vardy, who has been accused of promoting the teaching of creationism alongside macroevolution in his Emmanuel Schools Foundation academies. This is also linked to the wider debate in the education sector as to the benefits or otherwise of the growing role of religion in the school system being promoted by the New Labour government in general, and Tony Blair in particular, with many academies (one estimate puts it at "more than half") being sponsored either by religious groups or organisations/individuals with a religious affiliation.
There are indications that several city academies are failing. Ofsted has placed the Unity City Academy in Middlesbrough and the Richard Rose Central Academy in Carlisle under special measures, heavily criticised the West London Academy in Ealing and condemned standards at the Business Academy in Bexley, South London.
The Richard Rose Central Academy in Carlisle, sponsored by Eddie Stobart owner Andrew Tinkler, and local businessman Brian Scowcroft opened in September 2008. By January 2009, there were protests by parents and pupils regarding poor quality education and school facilities. The school was found to be failing and was placed in special measures, with the headmaster and chief executive being immediately replaced.
A parliamentary report in 2015, entitled "Free Schools and Academies", recommends that "In the meantime the Government should stop exaggerating the success of academies and be cautious about firm conclusions except where the evidence merits it. Academisation is not always successful nor is it the only proven alternative for a struggling school". In 2016 a major study by the Education Policy Institute found no significant differences in performance between Academies and local council run schools, and that multi-academy trusts running at least five schools performed worse than local council run schools.
Expense and diversion of funding
The original City Academy programme was attacked for its expense: it cost on average £25m to build an academy under this scheme, much of which was taken up by the costs of new buildings. Critics contend that this is significantly more than it costs to build a new local authority school. Some operators are paying senior staff six-figure salaries, partly funded by central government.
In 2012, the academy scheme was applied to primary schools. The government began transforming some schools that had been graded Satisfactory or lower by Ofsted into academies, in some cases removing existing governing bodies and Head Teachers. An example was Downhills Primary School in Haringey, where the Head resisted turning the school into an academy. Ofsted were called in to assess the school, and placed it in Special Measures. The head and the Governing Body were removed and replaced with a Government-appointed board. There was opposition from the school and parents.
In December 2012, the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons questioned Henry Stewart, of the Local Schools Network, and Rachel Wolf, of the New Schools Network, on accountability and funding of academies and free schools. The Committee was review a report by the Auditor General, Managing the Expansion of the Academies Programme (HC 682), which had identified that in 2011-12 £96,000,000 had been diverted from supporting under-performing Local Authority schools to the academies programme, followed by a further £400,000,000 in the financial year 2012-13. The Committee also questioned Chris Wormald, then Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education, who admitted that the Government had deliberately chosen to remove money originally allocated to support under performing schools. Chris Wormald stated, "The Government took a very conscious decision that its major school improvement programme was the academies programme."
Party policies, and developments since the end of the Labour Government
The Conservative Party has supported the academy proposal from its inception but wants the scheme to go further. This accord was reflected in a remark made by Conservative spokesman David Willetts in 2006:
I am more authentically Andrew Adonis than Andrew Adonis is.
In 2004, the Liberal Democrats were reported as being "split" on the issue and so decided that academies should not be mentioned in the party's education policy. The position of Phil Willis, the education spokesman at the time, was summarised as:
… there [are] no plans to abolish either city academies or specialist schools if the Lib Dems came to power, though "they would be brought under local authority control".
In 2005, Willis' successor, Ed Davey, argued that academies were creating a "two-tier education system" and called for the academy programme to be halted until "a proper analysis can be done". At the subsequent election, Academies were supported by all three main political parties, with a further cross-party initiative to extend the programme into primary schools currently being considered.
In 2010 the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats coalition government announced plans to expand the academy programme with the Academies Act 2010. In May 2010 the then Education secretary Michael Gove wrote to all state schools in England inviting them to opt out of Local Authority control and convert to Academy status. Gove also stated that some academies could be created in time for the new Academic year in September 2010. By 23 July 2010, 153 schools in England had applied for academy status, lower than the prediction that more than 1,000 would do so. In spite of the expanding Academy programme, in August 2010 Gove announced that 75 existing academy rebuild projects were likely to be scaled back. Nevertheless, by September 2012, the majority of state secondary schools in England had become Academies. Monthly updated information on existing academies and free schools, and applications in process, is published by the Department for Education.
The city academy programme was originally based on the programme of City Technology Colleges (CTCs) created by the Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, which were also business-sponsored.
From 2003, the Government encouraged CTCs to convert to academies; did so (for example, Djanogly CTC is now Djanogly City Academy) was a 2003 conversion.
Academies differ from CTCs in several ways; most notably, academies cannot select more than 10% of pupils by ability, whereas CTCs can.
A number of private and charitable organisations run groups of academies, known as Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs). These major operators include ARK Schools, Academies Enterprise Trust, E-ACT (formerly Edutrust Academies Charitable Trust), Emmanuel Schools Foundation, Harris Federation, Oasis Trust, Ormiston Academies Trust, Tauheedul Education Trust and United Learning Trust.
The Department for Education publishes a full list of active academy sponsors.
In September 2017, the Wakefield City Academies Trust announced it was ceasing operation and preparing to dissolve as it did not have the capacity to manage its 21 schools, and asked the government to make an alternative arrangement.
In January 2018, a league table was produced to "name and shame" the worst performers using the Progress 8 benchmark, which measures GCSE results after compensating for each pupil's performance at the end of Key Stage 2.
In December 2018, the Sutton Trust published a report on the effectiveness of MATs in improving the performance of disadvantaged children, with its authors noting that "Our five-year analysis of sponsor academies' provision for disadvantaged pupils shows that while a few chains are demonstrating transformational results for these pupils, more are struggling."
Concern about MATs taking over primary schools that are then rebrokered
In 2019 there were 5,539 primary academies in England, of which 514 were forced away from local authority control after being failed by Ofsted. The Department for Education (DfE) paid out at least £18.4m to the academy trusts taking on these schools. The parents, governors and local authorities had no say in how this money was spent or how the assets were used.
Since 2013–14, more than 300 primary academies have been rebrokered (receiving government setup money again) or moved between trusts. In 2017–8, seven trusts running primary schools closed leaving all their schools in search of another sponsor. This leads to uncertainly and expense as the new trust will rebrand and parents must pay for new school uniform. New rules, staff and systems are set in place.
An example of a failed academy is Copperfields Academy in Northfleet, Gravesend, Kent. The Reach2 Trust, which has 58 schools, took over the failing school against the wishes of school, governors or parents in 2013. They were given a start-up grant, and failed to attract qualified teachers, and their management was described as turbulent when Ofsted inspected them in January 2019. A "minded to terminate" notice was given to the trust, saying that the school would be re-brokered to another sponsor if any other Reach2 school failed. They had already had problems in 2018 with the Sprites Primary Academy in Ipswich. A follow-up inspection in June declared that the school was now on course: that "effective action" was being taken, and that both the trust's statement of action and improvement plan were fit for purpose. This is in spite of the school being short of 9 teachers out of the 18 needed, having 2 temporary deputies, and a head teacher seconded from another school.
- Academies Financial Handbook
- State-funded schools (England)
- Specialist Schools and Academies Trust
- University Technical College
- Comprehensive school
- Foundation school
- Grant-maintained school
- Co-operative academy
- "What is a Funding Agreement? | a can of worms". davidwolfe.org.uk. 8 October 2011. Archived from the original on 4 January 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
- "Schools, pupils, and their characteristics (Official Statistics)". 13 January 2018. Archived from the original on 14 January 2018.
- "Charities and charity trustees: an introduction for school governors". Charity Commission website. Charity Commission. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- "Types of school - Academies". Archived from the original on 16 March 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
- "Academies Act 2010, Section 1". Gov.uk. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
- "Academy and Free School Master Funding Agreement" (PDF). Gov.uk. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 October 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
- "Types of academy". SSAT Website. Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- "Academy sponsorship". Gov.uk. Department for Education. Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- "Comparison of Different School Type" (PDF). NSN website. New Schools Network. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- "Academy conversion process". Gov.uk. Department for Education. Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- "Education Terms: Free Schools". DfE Website. Department for Education. Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- "The free school presumption" (PDF). Gov.uk. Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 January 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
- "Types of school". Gov.uk. Department for Education. Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "UTC Colleges Overview". UTC Colleges. Baker Dearing Educational Trust. Archived from the original on 16 July 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
- "'Faith' academy faces criticism". BBC News website. BBC. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Ward, Victoria (15 November 2012). "Test case could dictate admissions policy in faith schools". Archived from the original on 2 June 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Academy Chains" (PDF). SSAT UK website. Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 May 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Become an academy: information for schools". Gov.uk. Department for Education. Archived from the original on 4 May 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Academy and free school-master funding agreement" (PDF). www.gov.uk. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 April 2017. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
- "Changes to DfE funding agreements for academies". Wrigleys Solicitors. Leeds. Archived from the original on 4 January 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
- "Academy and free school-master funding agreement- 4.23" (PDF). www.gov.uk. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 April 2017. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
- Bedell, Geraldine (31 August 2008). "Children of the revolution". The Observer. London. Archived from the original on 1 September 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2008.
- "How much do academies use their legal 'freedoms' in practice | a can of worms". davidwolfe.org.uk. Archived from the original on 4 January 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
- "School admissions code". gov.uk. Department for Education. Archived from the original on 21 April 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Brunton, Cloe (28 April 2015). "The role of the local governing body". Academy Today. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
- "Learning and Skills Act 2000 (c. 21)". Opsi.gov.uk. 17 August 2011. Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- "Education Act 1996 (c. 56)". Opsi.gov.uk. 17 August 2011. Archived from the original on 16 April 2007. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- Carvel, John (15 March 2000). "Blunkett plans network of city academies". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 4 May 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Blessed be the school sponsor". Times Educational Supplement. 17 March 2000. Archived from the original on 4 May 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "EDUCATION | 'City academies' to tackle school failure". BBC News. 15 September 2000. Archived from the original on 20 February 2004. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- Dozens of academy schools need bailouts from taxpayers Archived 3 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine The Guardian
- Garner, Richard (8 October 2008). "The Big Question: What are academy schools, and is their future under threat?". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 5 October 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- "Education Act 2002 (c. 32)". Opsi.gov.uk. 17 August 2011. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- "BSF – HOW TO SPONSOR AN ACADEMY OR A SPECIALIST SCHOOL. A GUIDE FOR SPONSORS". Parliamentary Year Book 2008. Blakes. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "THE CO-OPERATIVE ACADEMIES TRUST - GOV.UK". get-information-schools.service.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 6 January 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
- "Q&A: city academies". Channel 4 News website. Channel 4. Archived from the original on 4 May 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Specialist Schools". The Standards Site. Department for Children, Schools and Families. Archived from the original on 18 December 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
- "Specialist schools programme: Michael Gove announces changes". Gov.uk. Department for Education. Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- "Q&A: Academies and free schools". BBC News. 26 May 2010. Archived from the original on 29 May 2010.
- "Specialist schools programme: Michael Gove announces changes". Gov.uk. Department for Education. Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Waugh, Paul (19 October 2010). "Michael Gove signals end for specialist schools". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 4 May 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Q&A: Academies". BBC News website. BBC. Archived from the original on 12 February 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Huge increase in academies takes total to more than 2300", Dept. for Education Press Notice, 7 Sept. 2012. ("Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 April 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link))
- "Open academies and academy projects in development – The Department for Education". Education.gov.uk. 19 August 2011. Archived from the original on 31 August 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 2012-08-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Richard Adams (28 March 2016). "Lauded academy chain to be stripped of schools after finances inquiry". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 28 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- "Bradford Kings Science academy staff convicted of fraud". BBC News. 1 August 2016. Archived from the original on 1 August 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
- Perraudin, Frances (21 October 2017). "Collapsing academy trust 'asset-stripped its schools of millions'". The Observer. Archived from the original on 21 October 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
- "Central Lancaster High School- parent Consultation Meeting" (PDF). files.schudio.com/central-lancaster-high-school/files/documents. 17 October 2018. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
- Adonis, Andrew (31 December 2009). "Academies are a success story". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 25 September 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
- Smith, Jacqui (15 November 2005). "This is a comprehensive success story". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 4 May 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- Harris, John (15 January 2005). "What a creation ..." The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 30 November 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- Parkinson, Justin (17 March 2005). "Education | Why the fuss over city academies?". BBC News. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- Adams, Stephen (24 August 2008). "City academies: Lord Adonis announces plan to step up expansion plan". Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 11 September 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- Academies reverse years of failure in city schools – Times Online Archived 5 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Rebecca Smithers, education editor (19 January 2006). "Half of city academies among worst-performing schools | Education". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 4 December 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- Roy Hattersley, The Guardian, 6 June 2005, "And now, over to our sponsors" Archived 26 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- Polly Curtis, The Guardian, 1 November 2004, "Academies 'gagging' teachers" Archived 27 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- Rebecca Smithers, The Guardian, 31 August 2004, "Flagship schools attacked over costs" Archived 3 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- Bob Roberts (28 July 2006). "Exclusive: Flushed Out". Daily Mirror. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- "Education | Teachers 'oppose city academies'". BBC News. 14 March 2005. Archived from the original on 25 July 2017. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- Teachers' leader slams academy school plan Archived 17 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine, The Observer, 23 March 2008.
- "Kinnock criticises city academies". BBC News. 18 April 2006. Archived from the original on 24 December 2006. Retrieved 29 November 2009.
- The Committee Office, House of Commons. "House of Commons – Education and Skills – Fifth Report". Publications.parliament.uk. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- "Education | Faith groups back more academies". BBC News. 17 July 2004. Archived from the original on 1 December 2006. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- Hinsliff, Gaby (7 August 2005). "City schools could be front for evangelists". The Observer. London. Archived from the original on 18 November 2017. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
- "Root of All Evil? Part 2: The Virus of Faith" Archived 22 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine by Richard Dawkins – Channel 4 – RichardDawkins.net
- Garner, Richard (12 April 2006). "Faith schools are 'at odds with reason', says chaplain – Education News, Education". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- Smithers, Rebecca (28 May 2005). "New-style academy condemned as failure". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 27 February 2007. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
- "Ofsted inspection report, Richard Rose Central Academy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 February 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2009.
- Press Association (7 March 2006). "Ofsted criticises London academy standards | Education". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- "Richard Rose Central Academy: Press Release". Archived from the original on 20 February 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2009.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 July 2016. Retrieved 2015-05-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Jon Stone (7 July 2016). "Academy trust schools among the worst at raising pupil performance, new research shows". The Independent. Archived from the original on 8 July 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
- Behr, Rafael. "How car dealers can run state schools". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- Shepherd, Jessica (14 November 2011). "Academies pay £200k salaries". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 4 May 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
Charities that run chains of academy schools are using public funds to pay senior staff six-figure salaries, with some on £240,000 or more.
- "Academy row school governors sacked by Michael Gove". BBC News. 15 March 2012. Archived from the original on 13 August 2014.
- "Protesting Tottenham parents 'disgusted' with Downhills Primary School governors' removal". Archived from the original on 23 July 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- "House of Commons - Public Accounts - No - Minutes of Evidence: HC 787". publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- Morse, Amyas (20 November 2012). "Managing the expansion of the Academies Programme (HC 682)" (PDF). www.nao.org.uk (PDF). National Audit Office. ISBN 978-0-10-298047-9. HC 682. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- "Education | Parents back academies says Blair". BBC News. 12 September 2005. Archived from the original on 16 October 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- Baker, Mike (19 May 2006). "Education | Blair's legacy for schools". BBC News. Archived from the original on 31 December 2006. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- Hélène Mulholland in Bournemouth (21 September 2004). "Lib Dems split over city academies | Politics". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 16 September 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- Matthew Taylor, education correspondent (31 October 2005). "City academies accused of deserting poor | Politics". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 20 September 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- "Doubts grow over city academies – Education News, Education". The Independent. London. 28 May 2005. Archived from the original on 4 September 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- Polly Curtis, education editor (30 August 2008). "As 51 academy schools prepare for first day, GCSEs show work still to be done | Education". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- Polly Curtis, education editor (16 July 2008). "Education: Expand academy model into primary sector, says thinktank | Education". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- Angela Harrison (30 July 2010). "Michael Gove defends academy schools list". BBC. Archived from the original on 6 August 2010. Retrieved 7 August 2010.
- Shepherd, Jessica; Wintour, Patrick (29 July 2010). "Michael Gove's academy plan under fire as scale of demand emerges". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 1 August 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2010.
- Hannah Richardson (6 August 2010). "Rebuild plans for 75 schools scaled back". BBC. Archived from the original on 6 August 2010. Retrieved 7 August 2010.
- Jessica Shepherd (5 April 2012). "Academies to become a majority among state secondary schools". Manchester Guardian. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
- "Open academies and academy projects in development". Gov.uk. Department for Education. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
- Rebecca Smithers, The Guardian, 6 July 2005, "Hedge fund charity plans city academies" Archived 2 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine
- "Academy sponsor contact list". Gov.uk. Department for Education. Archived from the original on 4 May 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Press Association (9 September 2017). "Failing academy trust to pull out of 21 schools". The Guardian. Press Association. Archived from the original on 9 September 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- George, Martin (25 January 2018). "League tables: Best and worst performing multi-academy trusts revealed". Tes. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- Adams, Richard; Duncan, Pamela (25 March 2018). "Gender pay gaps in academy school chains among the worst in UK". the Guardian. Archived from the original on 25 March 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
- Weale, Sally (20 December 2018). "Academy chains underperforming for disadvantaged children, study finds". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
- McIntyre, Niamh; Weale, Sally (11 July 2019). "More than 300 English primary schools forced to become academies". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- Stauffenberg, Jess (2 April 2019). "Top trust could lose school if more schools fall to 'inadequate'". Schools Week. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- Hunter, Chris (14 June 2019). "Expert stunned over school's reported turnaround". Kent Online. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
- Department for Education: Opening an Academy or Free School
- SSAT (The Schools Network) (formerly known as the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust)
- Anti Academies Alliance
- In Defence of Academies by a pupil at Greig City Academy, 12 October 2006.
- "Do academy schools really work?", Lisa Freedman, Prospect magazine, 24 February 2010.
- National Audit Office (23 February 2007). The Academies Programme. London: The Stationery Office. ISBN 978-0-10-294442-6. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- PricewaterhouseCoopers (November 2008). Academies Evaluation Fifth Annual Report (PDF). Department for Children, Families and Schools. ISBN 978-1-84775-302-1. Retrieved 14 July 2010.[permanent dead link]
- Curtis, Andrew; Exley, Sonia; Sasia, Amanda; Tough, Sarah; Whitty, Geoff (December 2008). "The Academies programme: Progress, problems and possibilities" (PDF). The Sutton Trust. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 June 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009. Cite journal requires
- Bolton, Paul (2010). Academies: Statistics (PDF) (Report). House of Commons Library. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 October 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
- Pearson Report 2013
- Sutton Trust Chain Effects December 2018