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Volume 507: debated on Monday 8 March 2010

21. To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his latest assessment is of progress on the academies programme; and if he will make a statement. (320696)

There are now 203 academies open in 83 local authorities with up to a further 100 opening in 2010. Evidence from independent reports by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ofsted and the National Audit Office show academies are working. For academies with results in 2008 and 2009 the increase in the proportion of pupils achieving at least five A*-C GCSEs including English and maths is 5.0 percentage points, an increase on last year’s academy improvement rate of 4.3 percentage points and double the average national increase.