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ERIC Number: ED529842
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 69
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-2045-6557
Changing School Autonomy: Academy Schools and Their Introduction to England's Education. CEE DP 123
Machin, Stephen; Vernoit, James
Centre for the Economics of Education (NJ1)
In this paper, we study a high profile case--the introduction of academy schools into the English secondary school sector--that has allowed schools to gain more autonomy and flexible governance by changing their school structure. We consider the impact of an academy school conversion on their pupil intake and pupil performance and possible external effects working through changes in the pupil intake and pupil performance of neighbouring schools. These lines of enquiry are considered over the school years 2001/02 to 2008/09. We bypass the selection bias inherent in previous evaluations of academy schools by comparing the outcomes of interest in academy schools to a specific group of comparison schools, namely those state-maintained schools that go on to become academies after our sample period ends. This approach allows us to produce a well balanced treatment and control group. Our results suggest that moving to a more autonomous school structure through academy conversion generates a significant improvement in the quality of their pupil intake and a significant improvement in pupil performance. We also find significant external effects on the pupil intake and the pupil performance of neighbouring schools. All of these results are strongest for the schools that have been academies for longer and for those who experienced the largest increase in their school autonomy. In essence, the results paint a (relatively) positive picture of the academy schools that were introduced by the Labour government of 1997-2010. The caveat is that such benefits have, at least for the schools we consider, taken a while to materialise. Appended are: (1) Pre-Treatment Logit Specification; (2) The Structure of the Falsification Exercise as a Robustness Check; and (3) Pre-Treatment Logit Specification. (Contains 15 tables, 1 figure and 21 footnotes.)
Centre for the Economics of Education. London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE, UK. Tel: +44-20-7955-7673; Fax: +44-20-7955-7595; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: London School of Economics & Political Science, Centre for the Economics of Education
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)