The Department for Education has claimed 41 ‘struggling’ Birmingham primary schools are making progress after converting to academies in the last two years.

Government figures revealed that 645 under-performing primaries across the country have been converted to academies under new sponsors since the start of 2012.

Sponsored academies are those removed from council control and backed by organisations such as education trusts, private companies, religious groups or even other, more successful schools.

And the Department claims that sponsored academies have improved by an average of three percentage points in school league tables compared to one per cent across the board.

A Department for Education spokesman said: “The best way to turn around the stubborn under-performance that exists in some schools is to bring in a sponsor.

"These sponsors bring with them experience, strong leadership, know-how – and a track record of success.

“It is vital we continue to raise standards so all children leave primary school with a thorough grounding in reading, writing and maths so they can thrive at secondary school.”

The 645 stuggling schools now under sponsors includes, as well as 41 in Birmingham, six in Walsall, one each in Dudley and Solihull, two in Sandwell, three in Wolverhampton, ten in Warwickshire, three in Worcestershire and ten in Staffordshire.

The academy scheme has recently come under fire from teaching unions and critics who claim that schools are operating outside of public oversight and regulation.

Controversies include the Al-Madinah free school in Derby, which is being taken over after being accused of financial mismanagement and inadequate teaching, plus the appointment and swift resignation of Analiese Briggs, a 27-year-old with no teaching qualifications, as head of Pimlico Primary in London.

There have also been concerns that academies and free schools are not required to employ qualified teaching staff, nor are required to sell healthy food only to children - as other schools are.

In November the Government announced a new system of regional regulation to answer criticism that academies and free schools were given too much free rein and lacking oversight.

Although no longer overseeing academies, Birmingham City Council has recently helped set up an education partnership between schools and the council to work together on improving education standards.

A council spokeswoman said: “We want to see excellent performance across the city and ensure all our young people have the best start in life.

"We continue to work with our outstanding head teachers who are either national leaders in education or local leaders in education, with our outstanding schools supporting other schools, in order to secure further improvement for all our schools.”

• In December, it was reported that Birmingham was facing a primary school crisis with an extra 10,000 places required in the city by 2019 .

West Midlands primary schools to have converted to academies


Al-Furqan Primary School

Chivenor Junior and Infant School

Colmers Farm Junior School

Foundry Primary School

Lozells Junior and Infant School and Nursery

Primrose Hill Community School

Tindal Junior and Infant School

Billesley Primary School

Chilwell Croft Primary School

City Road Primary School

Erdington Hall Primary School

Four Dwellings Primary School

Grestone Primary School

Hawkesley CofE/Methodist Primary School

Kings Rise Community Primary School

Ridpool Primary and Nursery School

Mansfield Green Community School

Trescott Primary School

Montgomery Primary School

Moor Green Primary

Nansen Primary School

Nechells Junior and Infant School (NC)

Blakenhale Infant School

Blakenhale Junior School

Matthew Boulton Community Primary School

Hobmoor Primary School

Short Heath Primary School

Woodview Primary School

Percy Shurmer Primary School

Reaside Junior School

Slade Junior and Infant School

St Clement's Church of England Primary School

St George's CofE Junior and  Infant School

St George's Church of England Primary School

St John's Ladywood Church of England Primary School

St Michael's CofE Junior and Infant School

Tame Valley Community School

Shirestone Community Primary School

Tiverton Junior and Infant School

Woodhouse Primary School

Yarnfield Primary School


Bramford Primary School


Galton Valley Primary School

George Betts Primary School



St James Church of England Voluntary Aided Junior School


Heath Hayes Primary School

New Provision (Beaconside Primary School)

Norton Canes Primary School

Silverdale Primary School

Springhill Primary School

Anglesey Primary School

Churchfields Primary School

Greenacres Primary School

Maryhill Primary School


Birchills Church of England Primary Community School

Croft Community Primary School

Harden Primary School

Bentley Drive Primary School

Green Rock Primary School

North Walsall primary School


Henry Hinde Junior School

Queens CofE Academy

Wood End Primary School

Dordon Community Primary School

Oakfield Primary School

Park Lane Primary School Nursery and Parents' Centre

Race Leys Junior School

Racemeadow Primary School

Newbold Riverside Primary School

The Nethersole CofE Primary School


St Jude's Church of England Primary School

St Mary and St John Catholic Primary School

Woden Primary School


The Harry Taylor First School

Perry Wood Primary and Nursery School

Warndon Primary School