Council maintained schools outperform academies, says LGA figures

86 per cent of council maintained schools are now rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, compared to 82 per cent of academies

The data from the Local Government Association (LGA), also showed 79 per cent of free schools are rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

58 per cent of sponsored academies – those which converted due to poor performance – are now rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.

88 per cent of converter academies – generally those which were already high performing while still council-maintained before choosing to become academies – are rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’
Analysis of the grades achieved by all schools under only the current, more rigorous, Ofsted inspection framework – launched in September 2012 – shows that 81 per cent of council-maintained schools are rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, compared to 73 per cent of academies and 79 per cent of free schools.

Ofsted figures also show that ‘inadequate’ council-maintained schools are more likely to improve if they stay with their local authority, rather than being forced to convert to an academy. 98 per cent of council-maintained schools improved in their first Ofsted inspection after being rated 'inadequate' compared to 88 per cent of academies.

Analysis of multi-academy trusts found that a small number were performing highly, delivering strong improvements in their schools. However, these did not cover every region of the country, and reflected the Department for Education's own figures which already show that only 15 per cent of the largest Multi-Academy Trusts perform above the national average on added value measures, compared to 44 per cent of local authorities. Councils have also raised serious concerns about the recruitment of enough high-quality sponsors to take on 15,600 new academies over the next six years.

Councillor Roy Perry, Chairman of the LGA's Children and Young People Board, said: "These figures clearly demonstrate that councils are education improvement partners, rather than barriers to delivering the high quality education that our children deserve. With 86 per cent of council-maintained schools in England rated as ‘good' or ‘outstanding' by Ofsted, the Government needs to recognise councils' role in education improvement, and that imposing structural changes on schools is not the best way to improve education.

"Instead, schools need the freedom to choose, in partnership with parents and councils, whichever structure is most appropriate for them, and more pressing issues such as the need for more school places and the growing teacher recruitment crisis need to be addressed urgently to make sure that all schools can deliver the best possible education for every child. The time has come to reconsider the plans in the Education White Paper, and start a constructive, informed and inclusive debate about the best way to deliver educational excellence everywhere."