Islington Council among best in country for primary school performance, says report

The report was published today. Picture: PA

The report was published today. Picture: PA - Credit: PA WIRE

Islington has been named as one of the best education providers for primary school performance in the country in a new report.

The council was ranked joint 17th for last year’s Key Stage 2 results in the first league table to compare English Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) and local authorities.

The authority is outperformed by five English academy chains but otherwise ranked above most MATs, according to Thursday’s report from the Education Policy Institute (EPI) thinktank.

Joe Caluori, executive member for children, young people and families, said the research undermined the government’s drive to convert more state schools into academies.

“I think this shows that MATs aren’t the solution to the problem. When local authorities are working effectively, schools are as good if not better than academies.”

Islington Council dropped to 42nd for GCSE results but remained in the top third compared with all 218 local authorities and academy trusts.

MATs topped the Institute’s league tables for performance at primary and secondary level – but the worst education providers were also academy chains, according to the report.

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Overall, the research showed that there were more local authorities in the top half of the league table than the bottom, with more academy chains under-performing at both Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4 level.

Jon Andrews, director for education, data and statistics, said: “The analysis we have produced casts doubt on the government’s previous policy of academising all schools.

“It is not clear what the gains from this would be in terms of school performance, not least for schools in high-performing local authorities. The average improvement in performance of pupils in academy groups is similar to that in local authorities.”

The Department for Education (DfE), which also published performance league tables for MATs yesterday, said in a statement: “Our research, like that of the Sutton Trust and the Education Policy Institute, highlights many impressive MATs which are raising standards for thousands of pupils.

“They are playing a vital and increasingly important role in the school system - thanks to their ability to share resources, expertise and provide support to schools that are struggling.

“Our ambition remains for all schools to become academies with more schools joining multi-academy trusts (MATs) - because we know this is an effective way to bring about sustained improvement.”