Read transcripts of debates in both Houses
Produced by Commons Library, Lords Library and Parliamentary Office Science and Technology
Search for Members by name, postcode, constituency and party
Learn about their experience, knowledge and interests
Celebrating people who have made Parliament a positive, inclusive working environment
Four staff networks for people to discuss and consider issues.
Contact your MP or a Member of the House of Lords about an issue that matters to you
Sign up for the Your Parliament newsletter to find out how you can get involved
Explore the Houses of Parliament on this virtual tour
Sign up to our newsletter for regular updates about visiting
Book a school visit, classroom workshop or teacher-training session
Access videos, worksheets, lesson plans and games
Public Accounts Committee
Report published 11 July 2018. Government response published 9 October 2018.
In England, Academy schools are state-funded schools that are independent of local authorities and receive funding directly from the Department for Education. They are self-governing charitable trusts and can receive support from sponsors. As of January 2018, 35% of English state-funded schools were academies.
Since 2010 all schools have been allowed to apply for academy status. High-performing schools can choose to become academies, whilst the Government has a legal duty to convert those schools that are rated inadequate by Ofsted into academies.
A recent report by the National Audit Office found that in 2016–17 the Department for Education spent £81 million on converting schools to academies; it has spent an estimated £745 million on conversions since 2010–11. This included grants of £25,000 to schools that converted, and larger grants to the bodies sponsoring new academies. The report found that there was regional variation on the availability of sponsors for academies, with 242 academies located more than 50 miles from their sponsoring body. Further, it had taken the Department longer than expected to convert underperforming schools into academies despite consideration that they would benefit most from the change.
The Committee will ask representatives from the Department for Education whether conversions to academy schools deliver the right results for students and taxpayers, how they are addressing regional differences, and what they will do to ensure more conversion is better rolled out to underperforming schools.
Read all transcripts, written evidence and other material related to the inquiry on converting schools to academies.
Public Accounts Committee also concerned about levels of support for struggling schools