You don't have to be dumb to be educated here but it helps

Some academies are using Freedom of Information laws to hide evidence of "dumbing down", it is claimed.

GCSE results in England's state-funded independent schools are said to be improving at twice the national rate but Academies will not publish details.

But a report claims some academies push pupils into taking exams that are less academically rigorous than GCSEs to boost their league table position.

The government says academies are transforming standards and lives.

Questions have been raised about the value of some vocational qualifications. They also take up less teaching time than GCSEs.

They can be worth up to four top GCSEs grades (A* - C ) in the league tables.

The researchers from the think-tank Civitas suspected that some academies which showed a fast improvement rate in their published headline GCSE scores were using these examinations to boost their results.

But because academies are exempt from Freedom of Information rules they are not obliged to release the breakdown of their results.

BBC News (14 December 2009)