Academy schools are state funded schools in England. They are directly funded by central government and independent of direct control by local government in England. These kind of schools is mainly secondary schools but also some cater for children from nursery age upwards or for children are four and upwards. The schools are self – governing and most of them are constituted as registered charities or operated by other educational charities. Furthermore they may receive additional support from both corporate and personal sponsors either financially or in kind. As other state schools which are subject to inspection by Ofsted the academy schools must meet the same National Curriculum core subject requirements. For the first time this kind of schools was established in 2000 by the Labor Government under Tony Blair. The chief architect of the policy was Andrew Adonis in his capacity as education advisor to the Prime Minister in the late 1990s.The number of these schools in England was 203 by May 2010. The Academies Act 2010 sought to expand the number of academies and additionally extended such academies which have the introduction of the Free Schools Program. The number of the schools has increased to 629 by April 2011.

Academy schools

Early academies were set up by sir Peter Vardy who has been accused of advocating the teaching of creationism in science in the schools and Graham Able. The second was the head of Dulwich College in London, undoubtedly a very prestigious educational institution. Other names coming forward to sponsor schools include University College London, Manchester Airport and such charities as United Learning Trust. Of course there are many sponsors of this kind of schools including universities of Wolverhampton and Manchester. Both universities have expressed an interest. To give clear definition of academy schools is necessary to know what exactly means “academy” in the educational system in England. It is a type of school that is independent of the control of Local Education Authority but is publicly funded, with some private sponsorship. The American charter school is roughly equivalent of this kind of schools. Academies are initially intended to address the problem of entrenched failure with low academic achievement within England or schools situated in communities with no or at least few academic aspirations. They are established in such a way that is intended to be both innovative and creative in order to give them the freedoms considered necessary to deal with the long – term issues they are intended to solve. Schools are expected to follow a balanced and broad curriculum but with a particular focus on one or more areas. In return for an investment of 10 percents the academy’s capital costs the sponsors of the schools are able to influence and rule the process of establishing the school including its ethos, curriculum and specialism and building. Academy schools are established as companies limited by guarantee with a governing body that acts as a trust in terms of their governance.