Third of parents would remove their children from school if it turned into an academy, research claims

Academies are on the rise
Academies are on the rise

New research has revealed the scale of parents’ disapproval of the school academy system, with 34 per cent stating that they’d even remove their children from school if it planned to convert.

The study conducted by Oxford Home Schooling surveyed 750 British parents of school children and found that nearly two in five think that the government should scrap the academy system.

This figure is especially higher among parents of children who attend academy schools, with 43 per cent believing the initiative should be stopped.

Dr Nick Smith, principal at Oxford Home Schooling, said: “The academisation of schools has been, and continues to be, one of the most controversial issues in British education in recent years.

“While there are a number of benefits to the initiative, like schools being able to spend funding in ways that are best for their community, there is clearly a large and growing proportion of parents that are against the idea.

“Our research has highlighted how strongly people feel about the topic. With this in mind, schools and academy leaders would be wise to consult with parents to address their doubts about the system before forcing institutions to change their identity.”

Some of the major concerns cited include a lack of accountability (47 per cent) and the belief that academies are more motivated by growth and profits than child development (45 per cent).

Once again, parents of academy attendees were particularly vocal in their discontent, with higher rates of apprehension than the national average (51 per cent and 48 per cent respectively).

In the last five years, the number of state-run schools in England that hold academy status has more than doubled, from 3,827 in 2014, to 8,398 in 2019.

Academies now represent 35 per cent of all English schools, up from 16 per cent in 2014, with three-quarters of these being part of a multi-academy trust.