Research led by Professor Stephen Gorard from the University of Durham, indicates that academies increase the segregation between rich and poor in this country. He found that Gove’s ‘converter academies’, those that opted to become academies following a Good or Outstanding OFSTED judgement, had fewer children on free school meals than ordinary state schools. This is also true of any non-standard school such as independents, foundation or faith schools. Apparently, there’s not really enough data to make judgements about ‘free’ schools but they are likely to be the same. Research in Sweden has certainly indicated this is the case.
The reason is not hard to establish and is entirely predictable. Schools that are somehow perceived as ‘better’ will attract the more middle-class professional ‘customer’ who understands the system or who tends to be more proactive. The conclusion of the report is that greater choice leads to greater segregation, by which presumably is meant, inequality.
Read the full coverage in today’s Independent from the link at the head of this post.