The NEU’s analysis, The Government’s flawed case for a fully trust-led system, shows that the Department for Education has:
- systematically misreported Ofsted grades for many schools - claiming them for schools in multi-academy trusts (MATs) when those grades were achieved when the schools were in Local Authorities
- used small samples in order to produce higher results for schools in MATs
- failed to report Pupil Premium information for these small samples in a way which is highly misleading.
- The DfE have had months to find the best evidence they can to justify their claims; they have found no justification for forcing schools into MATs.
In parallel, a new NEU analysis of Ofsted ratings of Local Authority and MAT schools highlights the lack of evidence for the Government’s wish to require schools to join such trusts.
We publish those findings today in our analysis What is the evidence for forcing schools into multi-academy trusts?
It finds, for example, that comparing like with like:
- Maintained (LA) primary schools which were previously outstanding are much more likely to retain that status when re-inspected, compared with any other form of governance.
- 30% of outstanding LA primary schools maintain that status, whereas only 7% of outstanding MAT primary schools do so.
- Shockingly if an outstanding primary school in a MAT is moved (re-brokered) to another MAT - 0% retain their outstanding status.
- Primary schools that were previously rated as good or better are much more likely to fall to less than good at their next inspection if they are in a MAT or if they join a MAT between inspections. Schools which are re-brokered between inspections fare worst of all.
- Only 12% of good or better LA primary schools fall to less than good at their next inspection, whereas 35% of primary schools in MATs do.
- Shockingly 50% of formerly good or better primary schools when in a MAT will lose that status at their next inspection if they are re-brokered.
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“The NEU’s analysis renders nonsensical the Government's drive towards academisation in the name of standards. It demonstrates that there is no compelling reason for a school to join a trust. It also provides strong evidence against the re-brokering of schools from one MAT to another.
"The Government's latest call in the White Paper to encourage or force more schools into academy trusts will not achieve what it sets out to do. Nadhim Zahawi says he wants to be driven by evidence. He must respond to this evidence and must pause this ideological drive.
"Teachers and parents want the Government to focus their efforts on supporting schools to improve and what works and to drop their ideological obsession with marketisation.”