Primary schools embrace academies programme

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Primary schools across Yorkshire are embracing the academy programme and converting at a higher rate than ever before, new figures show.

The number of primaries becoming academies in the region has almost doubled in the last three years, the research by the Yorkshire Evening Post has found.

Yesterday the Yorkshire Evening Post revealed that almost a quarter of schools in Leeds are no longer controlled by the council showing the startling growth of the academy programme in the city.

And the research shows that there are now 29 primary schools that have converted to academies in Leeds, with 488 converting across Yorkshire and 254 opening across the region in the last three years.

Since 2010 primary schools have been eligible to become academies, following the expansion of the academies programme by the coalition government.

The figures come as the Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to push ahead with plans to pour £320m into new free schools, some of which are likely to be grammar schools.

But the ruling Labour group at Leeds City Council has expressed fears the education reforms are contributing to an “increasingly fragmented” school system.