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Academies: Sponsorship

Volume 504: debated on Monday 18 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what system his Department has in place to (a) monitor and (b) assess the performance of academy sponsors in improving the (i) Ofsted status and (ii) number of examination passes in academies. (311243)

The performance of academy sponsors is monitored and assessed through the performance of their academies. The Department has a rigorous range of measures to achieve this, including education advisers, School Improvement Partners (SIPs) and where appropriate National Challenge Advisers. All of these professionals provide challenge and support to academies, help the academy leaders to evaluate their own performance, identify priorities for improvement, and plan effective change. They report regularly to governors and the Department. Where necessary, the frequency of visits to academies is increased and/or a tailored intervention programme is agreed.

The 2009 GCSE results show that the increase in the proportion of pupils achieving at least five GCSEs at A*-C including English and maths is 5.0 percentage points, double the average national increase. However, where an academy is not making satisfactory progress we have been clear that the Department will work closely with sponsors to secure whatever changes are necessary to accelerate progress. This may include a change of leadership, a new partnership with a successful strong academy, sponsor, partner or school.