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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: KTW on January 20, 2011, 08:25:21 PM

Title: Academies
Post by: KTW on January 20, 2011, 08:25:21 PM
Oh no.
Our school first of all 'expressed an interest' in Academy status because our Head said he 'wouldn't get any info otherwise'.
Then the Governors voted to form a Working Party to investigate the pros and cons, 'just to see what was out there...'
Staff were very unhappy and told our 2 teacher governors how we felt.
Full Governors Meeting a couple of weeks ago voted 12:1, with 1 abstention (the Head) in favour of seeing if we can pursue Academy status. One teacher governor voted for an academy status.
We are not Outstanding but are 'Good with some Outstanding' features so have to apparently ask the DfE if we can go for it.
If they say yes then a 'consultation' will take place.
Big joint Union meeting after school today and lots of unhappy people (including those in our nearest school who were invited to join).
We came 3rd in our LA on the league tables both for the regular thing and the EBac... the other 2 schools above us were an all-girls state school and a Catholic state school, and as we are a bog-standard mixed state school then you could argue we are the 'best' in our LA in that category.

No other school like ours is going down this route in our LA, not even the Outstanding ones, so why do we have to be first?

Is anyone from one of these new academies who are an Outstanding school, and can you say anything positive about it or is it all as bad as it would appear?
Title: Re: Academies
Post by: djemba on January 20, 2011, 08:44:18 PM
Our school moving towards this too.  Staff in general not positive, especially in light of this:
Title: Re: Academies
Post by: Victoria on January 20, 2011, 09:30:36 PM
Our governors are discussing the prospect, and a number of schools in our LA are at various stages in the process, with teachers at one school out on strike last week and teachers at several other schools voting to take industrial action in the coming weeks.

We had an information session last week in which our Head was very open and honest about the discussions that have been had and his thoughts about the pros and cons.  He presented various positives, focusing mainly on the opportunities for working with other schools in various contexts - but the general feeling amongst staff seems to be concern over the vagueness and uncertainty about what the impacts of becoming an academy would be.

It is true that in order to receive full information (for example, about the funding available) schools have to apply to become academies.  However, it is possible to halt or delay the conversion process at any point until the Funding Agreement has been signed by both the "academy trust" (usually the governors) and the Secretary of State.  The consultation period is 4 weeks - we've been told that this would begin after the governors have made the decision to apply to become an academy, but there is suggestion that the consultation should be held before the decision to appy is made - of course the way the government have set things up, it doesn't seem possible to have all of the necessary information for a proper consultation period until after the application process has begun. 

The letter from Lord Hill that is referred to in the article that Djemba links to is scary. 

There are members of the forum who're in schools who are a long way down the academy line and who seem quite positive about things, so hopefully they'll chip in with something a bit cheerier....
Title: Re: Academies
Post by: sarahmarks on January 21, 2011, 07:22:17 PM
we became an academy in September 10 as an outstanding school, nothing has changed yet!.....
Title: Re: Academies
Post by: Geogphotos on January 21, 2011, 09:01:24 PM
A link that some may be interested in:
Title: Re: Academies
Post by: KTW on January 23, 2011, 02:54:45 PM
So 'nothing has changed yet' sarahmarks... but is it likely to? Our governors have agreed that they will 'make no changes to the pay and conditions for 12 months', but that's no time at all really is it in school life?
Has anyone else got anything to add?
Title: Re: Academies
Post by: Geogphotos on January 23, 2011, 05:33:21 PM
we became an academy in September 10 as an outstanding school, nothing has changed yet!.....

One thing that has changed is that you are no longer covered by national terms and conditions of employment.

Title: Re: Academies
Post by: stevenreader on January 23, 2011, 06:18:35 PM
We became an academy in December as an outstanding sports college. The only thing so far has been a change of school bank account which has meant that my standing order for tea and milk needed to be changed! I'm sure more changes will gradually sweep in but nothing to report as of yet! We had a visit from the TDA last week to discuss becoming a 'teaching' academy.
Title: Re: Academies
Post by: Geogphotos on January 24, 2011, 08:49:01 AM
Wait until SMT get a pay rise for having taken on more responsibilities. Then, you'll notice a rush of interest from other institutions!

I don't expect that staff having taken on more responsibilities with the loss of LEA services, and no doubt new expectations to support other schools, will see a corresponding boost to their pay packets.