Fraser Nelson

Today’s GCSE results prove that academies work

Today's GCSE results prove that academies work
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Today's GCSE results demonstrate the tremendous success of City Academies, a hugely heartening trend given that this formula - which was so slowly rolled out under the Labour legislation which introduced them - can now be rapidly implemented under the new Academies Act. It's always been a con to look at the absolute results of Academies, as under Labour the only schools given such status were schools that were doing poorly. What matters is improvement. Let's take the three Academies groups and look at the ratio of  pupils winning five good GCSEs (i.e. A-C including English and Maths). In the The Harris Federation, which now runs nine schools, there was a 10 point increase. In the ARK academies, a 13 point increase. In the ULT Academies, an 8 point increase. Some other striking examples out today include:-

-- Burlington Danes (an ARK Academy) say they have seen a 20 percentage point increase in the number of children gaining 5 A*-C grades from last year from 50 to 70 per cent.

-- Ormiston Bushfield Academy has increase of 21 percentage points from 21 to 42 per cent.

--- Paddington ULT Academy are reporting a 28 point increase from 34 per cent to 62 per cent.

The Conservatives are rightly pointing to these figures and saying: Academies prove that independent schools do better. We have a major story in the next week's Spectator, a cover piece about the enemies of school reform and the tactics they uses. Bureaucrats and their union allies love to strangle at birth successful school experiments. Andrew Adonis, who fathered the Academy legislation, should be proud today - as should all his Labour colleagues who pushed through this groundbreaking legislation to make this number of Academies possible. Hundreds of kids from poor backgrounds have much better results and achieved a much better education as a result of the brave reforms of the last government pushed through my a small number of determined politicians (and, yes, Tony Blair amongst them). Let's hope this moves to thousands of people under this the Gove reforms. The genie of school choice is out of the bottle and thriving. Academies work. Let's see more of them.