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The Introduction of Academy Schools to England's Education

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  • Andrew Eyles
  • Stephen Machin

Abstract

This paper studies the origins of what has become one of the most radical and encompassing programmes of school reform seen in the recent past in advanced countries—the introduction of academy schools to English education. Academies are independent state funded schools that are allowed to run in an autonomous manner outside of local authority control. Almost all academies are conversions from already existent state schools and so are school takeovers that enable more autonomy in operation than was permitted in their predecessor state. Studying the first round of conversions that took place in the 2000s, where poorly performing schools were converted to academies, a focus is placed on legacy enrolled pupils who were already attending the school prior to conversion. The impact on end of secondary school pupil performance is shown to be positive and significant. Performance improvements are stronger for pupils in urban academies and for those converting from schools that gained relatively more autonomy as a result of conversion.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Eyles & Stephen Machin, 2019. "The Introduction of Academy Schools to England's Education," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 1107-1146.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jeurec:v:17:y:2019:i:4:p:1107-1146.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jeea/jvy021
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    Cited by:

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    2. Barrios-Fernández, Andrés & Bovini, Giulia, 2021. "It’s time to learn: School institutions and returns to instruction time," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    3. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Joshua D. Angrist & Peter D. Hull & Parag A. Pathak, 2016. "Charters without Lotteries: Testing Takeovers in New Orleans and Boston," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(7), pages 1878-1920, July.
    4. Jo Blanden & Matthias Doepke & Jan Stuhler, 2022. "Education inequality," CEP Discussion Papers dp1849, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. Erich Battistin & Lorenzo Neri, 2017. "School Performance, Score Inflation and Economic Geography," Working Papers 837, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    6. David Wilkinson & Alex Bryson & Lucy Stokes, 2018. "Assessing the Variance in Pupil Attainment: How Important is the School Attended?," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 243(1), pages 4-16, February.
    7. Eyles, Andrew & Machin, Stephen & McNally, Sandra, 2017. "Unexpected school reform: Academisation of primary schools in England," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 108-121.
    8. Marco Bertoni & Gabriel Heller-Sahlgren & Olmo Silva, 2023. "Free to improve? The impact of free school attendance in England," CEP Discussion Papers dp1946, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    9. Andrew Eyles & Stephen Machin & Olmo Silva, 2018. "Academies 2 – The New Batch: The Changing Nature of Academy Schools in England," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 39(1), pages 121-158, March.
    10. Hinnerich, Björn Tyrefors & Vlachos, Jonas, 2017. "The impact of upper-secondary voucher school attendance on student achievement. Swedish evidence using external and internal evaluations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 1-14.
    11. Steve Machin & Sandra McNally & Camille Terrier & Guglielmo Ventura, 2020. "Closing the Gap between Vocational and General Education? Evidence from University Technical Colleges in England," CESifo Working Paper Series 8678, CESifo.
    12. Bertoni, Marco & Heller-Sahlgren, Gabriel & Silva, Olma, 2023. "Free to Improve? The Impact of Free School Attendance in England," Working Paper Series 1476, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    13. Eyles, Andrew & Hupkau, Claudia & Machin, Stephen, 2016. "School reforms and pupil performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 9-19.
    14. Parag A. Pathak & Kevin Ren & Camille Terrier, 2021. "From immediate acceptance to deferred acceptance: effects on school admissions and achievement in England," CEP Discussion Papers dp1815, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    15. Lorenzo Neri & Elisabetta Pasini, 2020. "Heterogeneous Effects of School Autonomy in England," Discussion Paper Series, School of Economics and Finance 202010, School of Economics and Finance, University of St Andrews.
    16. Stokes, Lucy & Bryson, Alex & Wilkinson, David, 2019. "What Does Leadership Look like in Schools and Does It Matter for School Performance?," IZA Discussion Papers 12580, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Lorenzo Neri & Elisabetta Pasini, 2018. "Heterogeneous Effects of Mass Academisation in England," Working Papers 847, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    18. Liu, Yi & Bessudnov, Alexey & Black, Alison & Norwich, Brahm, 2019. "School autonomy and educational inclusion of children with special needs: Evidence from England," SocArXiv y7z56, Center for Open Science.
    19. Natalie Irmert & Jan Bietenbeck & Linn Mattisson & Felix Weinhardt, 2023. "Autonomous Schools, Achievement, and Segregation," CESifo Working Paper Series 10831, CESifo.
    20. Bertoni, Marco & Heller-Sahlgren, Gabriel & Silva, Olmo, 2023. "Free to improve? The impact of free school attendance in England," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 121281, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    21. Bukowski, Paweł & Kobus, Martyna, 2018. "The threat of competition and public school performance: Evidence from Poland," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 14-24.
    22. Sam Sims, 2016. "High-Stakes Accountability and Teacher Turnover: how do different school inspection judgements affect teachers' decisions to leave their school?," DoQSS Working Papers 16-14, Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London.
    23. Alex Bryson & Lucy Stokes & David Wilkinson, 2020. "Can Human Resource Management Improve Schools' Performance?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 34(4), pages 427-440, December.
    24. Patrick Lehnert & Curdin Pfister & Dietmar Harhoff & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2020. "Innovation Effects and Knowledge Complementarities in a Diverse Research Landscape," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0164, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Jan 2022.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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