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Academies

Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 13 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many academies have been (a) established, (b) agreed but yet to open and (c) proposed in each local education authority; and how many were for the age group (i) 11 to 16 and (ii) 11 to 18 years in each case. (162148)

There are now 83 academies open in 49 local authorities. There are 12 projects in the implementation phase, and a further 69 projects where the Secretary of State has agreed a formal expression of interest with the local authority and a sponsor for an academy. Details are given in the following table which also indicates how many academies are catering for, or are proposed to cater for, the 11-16 and 11-18 age groups.

OpenIn implementationIn feasibility

Local authority

Number

Age group

Number

Age group

Number

Age group

Barnet

1

11-18

1

11-18

Barnsley

1

11-18

Bexley

1

11-18

Birmingham

4

11-18

Blackburn and Darwen

1

11-18

Bolton

1

11-18

Bradford

2

11-18

1

11-18

Brent

1

11-18

1

11-18

Brighton and Hove

1

11-18

Bristol

2

11-16

1

11-18

2

11-16

1

11-18

Cheshire

2

11-18

Coventry

1

11-18

1

11-18

Croydon

2

11-18

Cumbria

1

11-18

2

11-18

Darlington

1

11-16

Derby

1

11-18

Derbyshire

1

11-18

Doncaster

1

11-18

Ealing

1

11-18

Enfield

1

11-18

Essex

1

11-16

1

11-18

Greenwich

1

11-16

Hackney

3

11-18

2

11-18

Hammersmith and Fulham

1

11-18

1

11-18

Haringey

1

11-18

Herefordshire

1

11-16

1

11-18

Hillingdon

2

11-18

Islington

1

11-18

1

11-18

Kensington and Chelsea

1

11-18

Kingston upon Hull

2

11-18

Kent

6

11-18

1

11-18

1

11-16

Lambeth

1

11-18

1

11-18

Lancashire

1

11-18

Leeds

1

11-18

Leicester

1

11-16

Lewisham

2

11-18

1

11-16

Lincolnshire

3

11-18

1

1

Liverpool

1

11-16

2

11-18

Luton

2

11-18

Manchester

2

11-18

6

11-18

Merton

2

11-18

Middlesbrough

2

11-18

1

11-16

Milton Keynes

1

11-18

Newcastle

1

11-18

Newham

1

1

Norfolk

1

11-18

North East Lincolnshire

3

11-18

North Lincolnshire

1

11-16

Northamptonshire

1

11-18

1

11-18

1

11-18

Northumberland

2

11-18

Nottingham, City of

1

11-18

2

11-18

Nottinghamshire

1

11-18

Oxfordshire

1

11-18

1

11-18

Peterborough

1

11-18

Reading

1

11-18

Rochdale

1

11-18

Salford

1

11-18

1

11-18

Sandwell

3

11-18

1

11-18

1

11-18

Sheffield

2

11-18

Slough

1

11-18

Solihull

1

11-18

1

11-18

South Gloucestershire

1

11-18

Southwark

7

11-18

2

11-18

Southampton

2

1

St. Helens

1

11-18

Staffordshire

1

11-18

Stockport

1

11-18

Sunderland

3

11-16

Swindon

1

11-18

Tameside

2

11-18

Telford and Wrekin

1

11-18

1

11-16

Thurrock

1

11-18

Waltham Forest

1

11-18

Walsall

1

11-18

Wandsworth

1

11-18

West Sussex

3

11-16

Westminster

3

11-18

1

1

Wiltshire

1

11-18

1 Age group to be confirmed

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether it is his policy that the main sponsor of an academy can be a local authority; and if he will make a statement. (163294)

Academies are independent schools, which means that a local authority cannot be the main sponsor. Local authorities are increasingly becoming engaged in the strategic planning and co-sponsorship of academies in their localities within their wider school rebuilding and transformational strategies, and a number of local authorities are co-sponsors of academies in their area. The Government welcome this engagement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what changes there have been to his Department’s projections for the number of academies to be opened by the end of each of the next five financial years since inception of the programme; and what the reasons were for those changes. (163383)

The academies programme was introduced as part of the then Secretary of State (Mr. Blunkett’s) March 2000 speech on transforming secondary education. The programme has always targeted areas with inadequate existing secondary schools, with some academies replacing under-performing schools and others meeting the demand for new school places.

The first three academies opened in September 2002, and early projections included 25 academies in London by 2007 and a total of 57 academies.

The Department’s Five Year Strategy for Children and Learners, published in July 2004 included a target for 200 academies open or in the pipeline by 2010 with 60 in London. With an increasing body of evidence that academies are working and transforming the life chances of some of the most disadvantaged communities, in November 2006 the Government announced a scaling up of the academies programme, with an overall target to establish 400 academies.

83 academies have opened to date and we estimate that around 50 will open in each year from 2008 to 2010. Financial allocations for later years are subject to future spending review decisions.

The projected number of academies that are due to open at the beginning of any academic year is likely to change several times over the course of the preceding year as a result of project specific factors including land and site issues. A response detailing each change to projections and the reason for those changes could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what criteria determine whether a school can apply to be an academy; whether he plans to alter these criteria; and if he will make a statement. (163443)

The academies programme targets areas of inadequate educational attainment and opportunity. Some academies are brand new schools which need the extra school places, others are successful fee paying schools that wish to serve their whole local community and broaden their intake—providing high quality places where they are needed. However, most academies replace weak or underperforming schools. As a general rule, the Government are prepared to consider any secondary school where in 2006 fewer than 30 per cent. of pupils gained five or more GCSEs at A*-C including English and maths as a potential academy project. In addition, local authorities would always consider an academy as an option for dealing with a school in special measures, or subject to an improvement notice, whatever it's results. They should also be considered where there is a need for additional secondary places. This policy is set out in the 2007 prospectus for academies, 400 Academies; prospectus for sponsors and local authorities.

The Department has no plans to alter these criteria.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the likely number of academies in England in each year until 2020; and if he will make a statement. (163449)

The Government are committed to opening 400 academies. Details of the number of academies opened and planned to open between 2002 (when the first academy opened) and 2010 are included in the following table.

83 academies have opened to date and we estimate that around 50 will open in each year from 2008 to 2010. The projected number of academies that are due to open at the beginning of any academic year is likely to change several times over the course of the preceding year as a result of project specific factors including land and site issues.

The number of academies that open in each year from 2011 to 2020 will depend on the decisions made during future spending reviews.

Opening in period

Cumulative total

2002

3

3

2003

9

12

2004

5

17

2005

10

27

2006

19

46

April 2007

1

47

September 2007

36

83

2008

150

133

2009

150

183

2010

150

233

1 Estimated