Jury is still out over South Tyneside academies

Results have improved at Whitburn C of E Academy.
Results have improved at Whitburn C of E Academy.

THE impact on schools in South Tyneside which have taken on academy status remains “unclear”, according to a new council report.

During the school year 2013-14 there were seven academies in the borough.

But only two of those premises have been academies long enough for the impact of the change of status on results to be considered, members of the council’s people select committee were informed this week.

A report to the committee says: “In both cases, at Monkton Junior School and Whitburn Church of England Academy, results improved.

“However, it is still too early to say whether academy status has had an overall beneficial impact on standards locally.

“The picture nationally is also unclear, as reported recently by the cross-party Education Select Committee.”

Toner Avenue Primary School was the borough’s only school in an Ofsted category “of concern” in 2013-14.

But it was removed from special measures ahead of time, in November 2013, 11 months after its special measures report.

As a result, the school avoided “forced” academy conversion due to its rapid turn-around over the period.