The commission will address two principal questions:

What are the implications of complete academisation for school improvement and pupil attainment? How can improvement and attainment best be secured within an academised system?

Commission remit

The commission will examine the model and incipient outcomes of academisation from a school improvement perspective, focusing on issues of accountability, governance, due diligence, and outcomes for pupils.

It will highlight emerging trends, risks, and related questions, concentrating on public interest.

It will also draw on international examples of similar systems and cases, to inform and compare analyses.

It will not rehearse debates about the decision to develop  the academies programme, but will focus on the consequences of this programme in terms of outcomes for children and young people and for the education system as a whole.

Particular attention will be given to the key issues of

a) accountability including processes via which schools are held accountable; the role of the sponsor; commissioning of services; governance; operation of local markets; due diligence (e.g. what happens when performance worsens or fails to improve under a particular sponsor or chain?)

b) educational outcomes and how to lever school improvement in an academised system, given school autonomy


Our press release is available here.

Responses to the report:

Anti Academies Alliance

Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS)

Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL)

Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL)


Education for Liberation


National Union of Teachers (NUT)

SSAT (The Schools Network)

Stephen Twigg MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary

Media Coverage:

Financial Times, 09/01/2013
Success of new academies as yet unproved

Accord Coalition, 10/01/2013
Debate over segregation in schools should not overlook growing religious segregation, cautions Accord

BBC Breakfast, 10/01/2013

BBC News, 10/01/2013
Academies could ‘fuel social segregation’

BBC News, 10/01/2013
Some academies in England ‘covertly’ selecting pupils (video)

BBC Radio 4, Today Programme, 10/01/2013
Christine Gilbert, Commission Chair, and Bill Watkin, operational director for academies at SSAT, discuss potential improvements to the academies system.

Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education, 10/01/2013
Unleashing Inequality

Channel 4 News, 10/01/2013
Academies ‘covertly select’ privileged pupils

Conservative Home, 10/01/2013
Academy schools are breaking down social segregation not fueling it

Disability News Service, 10/01/2013
Report suggests spread of academies is undermining inclusion

Education Investor, 10/01/2013
Government should improve academy accountability

King’s College London, 10/01/2013
Academies report published

Modern Governor, 10/01/2013
Governors’ Role in Academies Needs “Greater Attention”

Public Finance, 10/01/2013
Academy schools must select fairly

The Guardian, 10/01/2013
Academies report disguises the damage they are doing to British schools

The Guardian, 10/01/2013
Academies use covert selection methods to skew intake

The Guardian, 10/01/2013
School academies: not all good, or all bad – but all in need of a helping hand

The Huffington Post UK, 10/01/2013
Academies Manipulating Admissions To Exclude Poorer Pupils

The Independent, 10/01/2013
Academies ‘flout admissions rules to select privileged pupils’

The New Statesman: The Staggers, 10/01/2013
How academies covertly select pupils

The Northern Echo, 10/01/2013
Criticism of academies ‘one-sided’ says principal

The Telegraph, 10/01/2013
Academies accused of cherry picking middle-class pupils

The Telegraph Blog: News – Education, 10/01/2013
Contrary to ‘exclusive’ reports in the press, the Tories don’t have any plans to privatise state education

The Times, 10/01/2013
Strip councils of schools power

Independent Schools Council (ISC) blog, 11/01/2013
Collabetition, anyone?

Institute of Education (IOE), University of London, 11/01/2013
Local authorities should be ‘children’s champions’ under an academised school system, says IOE director

NAHT Blog: Education Otherwise – Susan Young, 11/01/2013
Academies, improving the system, and a much-misquoted report

TES, 11/01/2013
Academy status is ‘not a panacea’, experts warn

TES, 11/01/2013
From The Editor – An unfinished revolution in the reign of timidity

SecEd, 16/01/2013
Commission highlights covert selection practices and a lack of transparency in some academies

Socialist Educational Association (SEA) blog, 16/01/2013
Does the Academies Commission provide a new agenda for schools?

TES, 18/01/2013
Why do some feel the need to segregate?

Montrose42′ Blog, 20/01/2013
Collaboration and Interdependence – Is this the key to improve our education system?

edapt, Blog, 21/01/2013
A glimmer of hope from the Academies Commission?

The Guardian, 21/01/2013
Schools work best when they work together

REOnline, 22/01/2013
Unleashing Greatness and RE

Innovation Unit, Blog, 23/01/2013
Why schools need a dating service

Local Schools Network, 23/01/2013
Innovation is inhibited by league tables not by lack of freedom says Commission

Guardian, Teacher Network, 24/01/2013
Academy schools: a flawed system that cannot be sustained

The National Foundation for Educational Research, 31/01/2013
Ways to unleash greatness: key tools for all schools

Twitter @acadcomm #acadcomm

For a selection of tweets discussing the Academies Commission report, please click here.

To view the twitter conversation at the report launch event at the RSA, please click here.

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