Steady but slow progress


DfE has  published  the latest figures for its flagship academy programme. The figures show slow but steady progress.  The first step for a local authority school to become an academy is for the governing body to ask the Secretary of State for an Academy Order. The figures for Order requests are:

Orders requested                                   Number

Up to 31 August 2010                                            139

Additional Orders up to 7 October                    50

Additional Orders up to 5 November               35

Additional Orders up to 3 December                41

Requests for Orders have stabilised at about 40 a month. Orders are being processed fairly promptly and approvals are keeping up with requests.

So that in the month up to 3 December, 41 Academy Orders were approved although many of these requests will have been lodged with the DfE in September and October.  However, it may be slightly worrying for Ministers that only 14 schools were converted to academy status in the period up to 3 December. This  suggests a big backlog of schools which have a Secretary of State approved Academy Order waiting to go the final hurdle to academy status. This final hurdle – the Academy Agreement – may  be proving problematic but  its not exactly clear where the problems lie.




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