Education in chains

Document type
Grotberg, Anna; Robb, Matthew
Date of publication
27 March 2015
Education and Skills
Social welfare
Material type

Download (465KB )

The move towards more freedom and autonomy for schools in England has created greater diversity in the school system. However, it has not achieved a generalised or sustained level of innovation, or spread best practice. This has left many schools trailing behind the best and many children unable to reach their full potential.

School groups offer a solution to this problem. In particular, they offer a more coherent governance system that addresses the key issues currently damaging the system: unclear governance; inexpert governance; a lack of capabilities and professional development; and a lack of economies of scale and clear operating models. A school system in which more schools belong to large groups, with strong corporate centres, will provide better education for many more pupils. They create the right structures to harness the best, and drive high performance across the system. However, this system will not develop on its own. Currently, only half of academies are part of a group, and the majority of these are in a group of ten schools or fewer. Our view is that the following actions should be taken to encourage schools to join groups:

  1. The government should expect most schools to join groups.
  2. The government should strengthen the ability of school groups to develop strategic corporate centres. It should expect school groups to invest between 8 and 10 per cent of the group’s revenue in their corporate centre.
  3. Individual schools that are part of high performing school groups should be exempt from Ofsted inspection. The school group should be inspected instead.
  4. The government should devolve school capital budgets to competent school groups

Related to Education and Skills

Preschool quality and child development

Working paper on child development in Columbian preschools

2019 annual report on education spending in England

Report on education spending in England

What motivates adults to learn: a rapid evidence review of what drives learning new skills in the workplace

Report on factors influencing adult workers' motivation to learn for work

Cabinet analysis 2019

A briefing analysing the educational background of ministers in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's cabinet, summer 2019.

More items related to this subject

Related to Reform

Inclusive by default

Report on creating inclusive digital public services

Advanced technology to support research, innovation and economic growth in the UK

Downloadable briefing giving an overview of policy developments in technological advancements to support research, innovation, and economic growth

More items related to this publisher