Gove pays tribute to increase in primary academies

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More than 4,000 schools across the country are now academies – a fifth of the total in the state sector.

The latest figures show that primary academies are out-numbering secondary academies for the first time.

There are now 1,983 primary academies, a 25 per cent jump in just six months, and 1,924 secondary academies. The total number of academies includes free schools and studio schools and university technical colleges which operate for 14- to 19-year-olds.

It means 12 per cent of primary schools and 58 per cent of secondary schools are now academies. Before the DfE launched its programme to expand academies there were none in the primary sector and 203 secondaries.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has welcomed the growth of primary academies and claimed the increase would mean thousands more children getting an excellent start to their education.

He said: “I want all children to leave primary school literate and numerate. Academies are helping us achieve that goal.

“Hundreds of primary schools which were struggling under council control have now been paired up with academy sponsors, and the children in those schools are at last getting up to speed in the 3Rs.

“We’ve also taken power away from politicians and bureaucrats and given it to more than a thousand great primary heads by letting them become academies.

“After all, they are the ones who know their pupils and understand what they need.

“It is inspiring to see so many heads take up these freedoms and use them to give children a better start in life.”

The figures from the DfE also show that than half-a-million pupils are now taught in primary academies and 30,000 teachers now work in primary academies.

Academies are run outside of local authority control with greater power over their curriculum, admissions and employment arrangements.