Magazine article Public Finance

NUT Points to 'Patchy' Progress of Academies

Magazine article Public Finance

NUT Points to 'Patchy' Progress of Academies

Article excerpt

Teachers' leaders have accused the government of downplaying criticism of its controversial academy programme.

A report from consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers was hailed by ministers as further 'independent endorsement' of academies. Pupil performance was improving faster than the national average and places were oversubscribed, they claimed.

Education secretary Alan Johnson said: 'Parents want to send their children to academies because they want their children to succeed. Academies work and are wanted.'

But the National Union of Teachers said the government's words were disguising a very 'patchy' picture of performance identified by the consultants.

NUT general secretary Steve Sinnott said: 'The report points to the decline in the proportion of children attending academies who come from less well-off backgrounds. The academies are cherry-picking their pupils and, even having done so, are still not achieving the improved performance the government claims. …

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