Helen Warrell reported on Chain Effects for the Financial Times.

Three out of four academy chains contain schools that would be defined as “coasting” under government guidelines, research has shown.

The study by the Sutton Trust, a social mobility charity, shows that in 2014, 44 per cent of academies fell into the coasting category, which means they would be targeted for improvement, and 26 of 34 chains had at least one coasting school.


The Sutton Trust’s study found that the best-performing chains were ARK schools, which runs 32 primary and secondary academies, City of London, which runs three academies, and the Harris Federation, which runs 36 academies. In these networks, the proportion of disadvantaged students achieving five A* to C grades at GCSE was about 15 percentage points higher than the average for disadvantaged pupils.

Sir Peter Lampl, the trust’s chairman, said that, while there had been some “outstanding performers”, “many chain sponsors, despite several years in charge of their schools, continue to struggle to improve the outcomes of their most disadvantaged students”.

Read her full report here.



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