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Who opposes academies?

As you will have noticed if you’ve logged into Facebook recently, there is currently a petition going round to “Scrap plans to force state schools to become academies”.

At the time of writing it had received over 75,000 signatures, enough to force a government response but ~25,000 short of what’s needed for a Parliamentary debate. But who’s signed it and how do these areas map onto what the Education Excellence Everywhere White paper flagged up as areas where schools lack capacity to improve?

A map of the anti-academy petition
Above: Number of signatures on the petition

For the most part opposition is not coming from the areas that the DfE considers most challenging as shown below.

Educational Excellence Everywhere and capacity
Above: Areas identified by the DfE as having poor performance and low capacity to improve

So what else do ‘anti-academy’ areas have in common? Well, they are almost all either Labour or Green constituencies and urban in character

  • Brighton (by far the most signatures at 817- runner up is Hove on 493) – Green
  • Leeds (North East) – Labour
  • Bristol (West and South) – Labour
  • Sheffield Central – Labour
  • Hornsey and Wood Green, Walthamstow and Islington – Labour
  • Lewisham – Labour
  • York Central – Labour

But then there’s one weird outlier…

  • Isle of Wight – Conservative

I’ll be contacting the Isle of Wight’s local MP, Andrew Turner to find out his response!


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    As last year’s Green Party candidate in the General Election (came 3rd with 1000% increase in votes since 2010) and the Green Party national spokesperson for Education I can confirm that yes, islanders are not happy about this! Academisation has not raised standards here, and there is no evidence it will do so in the future. Fantastic graphic!

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