THE 220 schools in the South-West which have switched to become academies are more likely to improve their Ofsted ratings than those remaining under local authority control.

That’s according to a survey by accountancy firm, Bishop Fleming, which also found that an increasing number of academies are building up a cash reserve, because they have greater flexibility over the way they manage their income.

However, the firm warned that cuts to government spending and the rising pension costs of senior teaching staff posed a “twin threat” to the progress of academies.