July 24, 2015

Sutton Trust Report reveals highly positive impact

Today, the Sutton Trust published its second annual report on the impact of academy sponsors on low-income students. The report, Chain Effects 2015, analyses the performance of the largest sponsors in England by studying the GCSE attainment and progress measures of students from 2012 to 2014. It concludes that students at academies run by The Co-operative Academies Trust outperform those in many other academy trusts.

The main findings for the trust are that:

  • the proportion of low-income students gaining 5A*-C including English and mathematics is significantly above average overall
  • overall improvement for disadvantaged students between 2012 and 2014 is significantly above average

These results are particularly impressive when taking into account findings that are also highlighted in the report that reveal:

  • students at the trust’s secondary schools have the fifth highest proportion claiming free school meals out of the 34 largest academy chains reviewed


  • when students join the academies at the age of 11 years they have the lowest attainment scores of all academy chains

The Co-operative Academies Trust is sponsored by The co-operative Group a unique member-owned business with stores and branches across the UK. Its commitment to education goes back over 150 years. The trust is made up of seven academy schools serving some of the most socially challenging and diverse communities in Manchester, Leeds and Stoke-on-Trent.

Frank Norris, The Director of the Trust said ‘It is our belief that our academies are making a massive difference and the Sutton Report bears this out. We are developing a strong reputation for improving schools and academies that have faced significant challenges for many years. Our unique relationship with our sponsor makes such a difference and is one of the key reasons for our success. We never forget, however, that our success is largely down to the incredible efforts of our students, staff and governors’.