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Education in the Media: Thursday 20 December 2018

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Today’s Education in the Media blog focuses on the Sutton Trust report and disadvantaged pupils in academy chains.

Sutton Trust

Today, Thursday 20 December, social mobility charity Sutton Trust have issued a press release detailing research on disadvantaged pupils in 58 academy chains across England.  The analysis was carried out by Professor Merryn Hutchings and Professor Becky Francis.

The story was reported in the Times, the Guardian, the Independent, the Sun, Sky News, the TES and was also covered in the Today Programme this morning. 

Just this month, Lord Agnew spoke at the Academy Ambassadors Board Development Day telling multi-academy trust leaders and non-executive directors that the hard work and dedication of teachers and schools leaders – alongside the freedom and autonomy the academy model offers – can continue to drive school improvement and improve pupil outcomes. 

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We are striving for a world class education for all children, regardless of background.

Converting to become an academy is a positive choice that is made by hundreds of schools every year. The growing number of successful multi-academy trusts are playing an important part in driving up standards in our schools by allowing them to work together to focus their efforts on quality teaching.

The facts speak for themselves, with 550,000 children studying in sponsored primary and secondary academies that are now rated good or outstanding, which typically replaced underperforming schools. Just last week, the latest Key Stage 2 performance data showed that disadvantaged pupils studying in multi-academy trusts performed significantly better than the national average for disadvantaged pupils in writing and maths.

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