Friday, 10 October 2014

Academies improve children's education - the evidence is clear

Great article in the Journal with Labour MPs supporting academies.
The irony is that the Labour government invented them. We, in the coalition, are expanding them and giving head teachers and governors the freedom and opportunity to create the school they and their local community want. This transmits itself to the parents and, most importantly, the children who then have the opportunities denied them by some local authorities. Yet, the labour leadership and front bench in the commons are against the idea, as are most of the present set of North East labour MPs, with honourable exceptions. The evidence from academy organisations nationally like ARK = Absolute Return for Kids or the Excelsior Academy in west newcastle is overwhelming. Academies work. To all Northumberland locals who doubt this I urge them to go to the excelsior academy.  This from today's article in the Journal:

"Excelsior Academy, in the west end of Newcastle, has seen a remarkable turnaround in its fortunes since becoming an academy in 2008.
When it was Westgate Community College it was deemed to be a failing school by education watchdog, Ofsted.
Nearly 60% of children left the school without a single qualification and only 14% achieved five good GCSE grades.
However, pupils’ performance at GCSE and A-level is above the national average in English and maths and their progress is among the highest in Newcastle, according to the school’s head Phil Marshall.
She said: “We haven’t changed our community; we’re still taking the same children from the same houses, homes and families.
“You have to believe, that despite a lack of aspiration at home, these young people can do well."