More than 300 primary schools across England have been forced to become academies in the last three years against a backdrop of mounting opposition from parents, a Guardian investigation has revealed.
Analysis of government data has shown that 314 schools were forcibly removed from local authority control after being rated inadequate by Ofsted. The Department for Education (DfE) has paid out at least £18.4m to academy trusts for taking on the schools.
Concerns are growing, however, about the stability of the system, with evidence that a rapidly increasing number of primary schools are being passed from one trust to another after conversion, causing long-term disruption and uncertainty.
Guardian analysis of DfE data shows that the number of primary schools transferred between academy trusts following conversion has tripled in just three years, from 39 to 121. Since 2013-14 more than 300 primary academies have been rebrokered or moved between trusts.