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ERIC Number: EJ845702
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0892-0206
Academies: A Model for School Improvement? Key Findings from a Five-Year Longitudinal Evaluation
Armstrong, David; Bunting, Valerie; Larsen, Judy
Management in Education, v23 n3 p118-124 2009
Academies were launched by David Blunkett, the then Secretary of State for Education, in March 2000 in a speech on transforming secondary education. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) was commissioned by the predecessor of the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) in February 2003 to conduct an independent longitudinal evaluation of the Academies initiative over a five-year period. The overall aim of the evaluation was to assess the programme's contribution to raising educational standards, particularly in schools with high numbers of pupils with disadvantaged backgrounds, and to examine the key features of Academies, including independence, sponsorship, governance, leadership, teaching and learning, and buildings. Results reveal that pupil performance has improved in Academies, and often at a rate that is greater than the national average and other comparison schools. However, the scale of progress is not uniform across all measures of achievement, and there is considerable diversity between and within individual Academies. Therefore there was insufficient evidence to make a definitive judgement about the Academies as a model for school improvement. Throughout the course of the study the variability of the contexts of each Academy has been highlighted as a factor in relation to school improvement. Moreover, many of the characteristics of Academies, such as high standards, strong leadership and governance, good quality buildings, a strong focus on teaching and learning, and building partnerships with pupils and their families, are universal aspirations for all schools wishing to improve. The evidence suggests that while there is no "simple" uniform Academies "effect" the Academies model is having an impact on the wider educational landscape. (Contains 1 table, 3 figures, and 5 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A