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9th August 2016

Research for the Sutton Trust has shown a significant variation in the performance of academy chains, with some consistently above or below the national average.

Professor Merryn Hutchings, Professor Becky Francis, and Dr Philip Kirby found that while disadvantaged pupils in around a fifth of the chains they studied (7 out of 39) performed substantially above the national average for all mainstream schools, disadvantaged pupils in a similar number of sponsored academy chains (8 out of 39) performed substantially below the national average for attainment and improvement.

The relative performance of chains was similar over a three-year period.

The trust recommended that the sponsors who did not show improvement needed greater support and in some cases reviews should be carried out to ensure they were suitable to continue to manage particular academies.

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