The North of England RSC region has one of the lowest available sponsor capacity to need ratios and finding new sponsors could be a challenge, a new report by the National Foundation for Education Research (NFER) found.
The ratio in the region is second lowest at 1.1 to 1, with Lancashire and West Yorkshire having the most need of new sponsors with a ratio of 0.7 to 1.
The report, A Tale of Eight Regions, identified 59 underperforming schools in the Northern region that have an immediate need for a new sponsor. There are currently 49 MATs that are ready for expansion in the area, with the capacity to take on 63 underperforming schools.
The NFER said growing sponsor capacity is now a key priority for RSCs, but points out that RSCs will struggle matching suitable sponsors, as the available sponsors and schools in need could be at opposite ends of the large regions they are in charge of.
It also states that the region contains the Local Authority area with the highest proportion of immediate need schools (Darlington), but also has three LAs with no immediate need schools (Newcastle, Hartlepool and Redcar & Cleveland).
Overall, the report found that the North of England has the lowest number and proportion of underperforming primary schools of any RSC region. However, a third of the region’s total stock of secondary schools (92) were identified as underperforming.