Underperforming Primaries will be ‘encouraged’ to become Academies
So, what does Underperforming mean?
‘The schools identified as underperforming are those which are in an Ofsted category of “notice to improve” or “special measures” and/or are below the floor standard and have been so for the majority of the past five years. A school is below the floor standard if fewer than 60% of pupils achieve level 4 at key stage 2 in English and maths combined, with rates of progression in English and maths below the national medians.’(Source Lords Hansard 24 September PQ)
The Secretary of State, Michael Gove, recently decided that Downhills Primary school, in Haringey would, due to its “chronic under performance” and the need to secure swift improvement , have to convert to a sponsored Academy status, under the leadership of the Harris Federation. This was seen as something of a test case for the anti-free school lobby as the governors and some parents and the local MP had opposed forced Academy conversion and challenged the move in the courts, unsuccessfully as it happens. Downhills opened as an Academy this September.
Note-Ofsted had placed Downhills under special measures and said in its report (2012) that ‘ it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement.’