400 academy schools by 2011: convincing?

I have just had an email from a colleague who attended the Westminster Education Forum seminar called ‘Academies and free schools – the next steps for policy’ last week.

David Jeffrey, who works in Academies Policy, Finance and Performance for the Department for Education, gave a seminar where he told the audience that although only 34 new academies opened in September, he does expect that number to increase a great deal. His numbers are:

  • 142 outstanding schools are expected to convert to academy status during 2010/11
  • 64 traditional/Labour academies were also opened in September, and a further 10 will be open by 2011
  • 16 free schools have been approved

His parting note was that as many as 400 new academies and free schools could be open by the end of the academic year 2010/11.

This is probably a conservative estimate to save face, but it is still well shy of the 1,000 Gove claimed had applied.

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