The Department takes into account the levels of socio-economic disadvantage in the area where the school to be replaced with an academy is located. These levels are considered both for the wards from which that school’s pupils come, and for the wards in direct proximity to the school. The measures of socio-economic disadvantage which the Department uses are based on income, employment, health, education, housing, child poverty and access to services.
The Department also takes into account the existing supply of post-16 places in the local area. Every academy proposal which is submitted to the Department must be endorsed by the local learning and skills council. Post-16 places at academies also form part of local authority-wide plans for pupil places. The local authority must provide justification for the number of pupil places it proposes for an academy, specifically including the number of post-16 places it plans to offer.