The report devotes a chapter to early indications of success factors, largely based on qualitative data from interviews andquestionnaires, quotations, case studies and “vignettes”. The factors identified relate to school improvement generally, rather thanany specific “Academy factor”.The “good news” that PWC can present in the report is very sparse. The conclusion would have to be that Academy status in itself is not the answer to addressing the needs of very challenging schools.The Education and Skills Select Committee has raised serious concerns about Academies. The Committee’s report on secondaryeducation, published in March 2005, said that the Government’s use of Academies to serve vulnerable communities should beproperly evaluated, both in respect of the performance of individual Academies and the impact on neighbouring schools, beforeembarking on a major expansion of an untested project.The Select Committee stated that the good results achieved by some Academies might have been gained as a result of excludingthose children who were harder to teach and reducing the proportion of children in the school from deprived backgrounds. TheSelect Committee requested that the DfES measure consistently the proportion of pupils entitled to free school meals and thenumber of exclusions in Academies. King’s Academy in Middlesbrough expelled 27 pupils in the first year, compared with 10 in totalby the seven maintained schools in the local authority. Another 10 were withdrawn by their parents after the threat of exclusion.West London Academy tripled exclusions to 265 in a year, with a further 20 permanent exclusions.Not all Academies offer pupil an independent appeal after being permanently excluded. There have been complaints from parentsabout Trinity Academy’s strict disciplinary code. They claim that it is aimed at getting rid of more difficult pupils who might damagethe schools examination results.The NUT is greatly concerned over the influence that sponsors have over a school. The private sponsors that run Academies havelimited or no experience in education. Academy sponsors include Christian philanthropist, Sir Peter Vardy, of Reg Vardy car dealership, Roger de Haan, Chief Executive of Saga Holidays, Amey plc, a construction and management firm and DavidSamworth, chairman of Samworth Brothers, a nationwide manufacturer of sausages, pies, pastries and ready meals.At the end of September 2005, the Secretary of State, Ruth Kelly, announced that teachers working in Academies would berequired to be registered and regulated by the General Teaching Council, as all other teachers working in state funded schools are.