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CentrePiece article
Primary academies in England
Andrew Eyles, Stephen Machin and Sandra McNally
December 2016
Paper No' CEPCP490:
Full Paper (pdf)

CentrePiece 21 (3) Winter 2016

JEL Classification: I20; I21; I28

Tags: academies; pupil performance; primary education

Attendance at a primary academy leads to no discernible improvement in pupils’ test scores, according to research by Andrew Eyles, Stephen Machin and Sandra McNally. This suggests that further extension of the academies programme into primary schools is unlikely to improve education in England. The researchers note that since a majority of secondary schools in England are now academies, any further ‘academisation’ will be concentrated in the primary sector. So the time is ripe for this first comprehensive evaluation of primary academies’ effectiveness at raising pupils’ achievement. The evidence suggests that primary academies have been less effective than the disadvantaged secondary schools that thrived in the first wave of academies.

More details on the research discussed here are in ‘Unexpected School Reform: Academisation of Primary Schools in England', Andrew Eyles, Stephen Machin and Sandra McNally, CEP Discussion Paper No. 1445, November 2016.