Lack of academy sponsors in Lancashire and West Yorkshire

According to analysis of regional school commissioner (RSC) data, there are not enough sponsors ready to take over failing schools in the north.

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) found that RSC regions in northern England are struggling to deliver enough sponsors.

The analysis shows, however, that southern regions are coping better, with the South-East England and South London RSC area having more than three sponsors.

The NFER report says growing sponsor capacity is now a key priority for RSCs, with regional variations in the number of underperforming schools raising “potentially significant problems for tackling school underperformance”.

Lesley Duff, NFER’s director of research, has called on the government to be “circumspect” about introducing further changes for schools until the “full implications and impact” of the new academy system becomes clear.

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