to ask what you all think of academies? and forced acadamisation (is that even a word?)

(72 Posts)
isitginoclock Sun 24-Apr-16 16:54:57

So... Every single teacher I know seems to think that academies are a terrible idea. From what I've read (and it's not a lot) they actually sound quite sensible.

Please can someone clear it up for me. What's changing? Why is it good? Why is it bad?

cleaty Sun 24-Apr-16 16:56:28

Academies have no oversight from the Local Authority. Many parents whose children have SN, say that most academies are much worse at supporting children with SN, than other schools.

ilovesooty Sun 24-Apr-16 16:59:27

I think there was a long thread about this very recently but can't link on phone.
Academies stink on the whole in my opinion. Once every school is an Academy teacher pay and conditions will go down the pan completely and the recruitment crisis will get even worse.

FuckSanta Sun 24-Apr-16 17:04:36

The Tories have pulled the forced acadamisation policy.

ToucheShay Sun 24-Apr-16 17:06:28

An academy took over our local failing school and turned it around - I can't complain.

EElisavetaOfBelsornia Sun 24-Apr-16 17:09:51

Thursday's Grauniad says it's still happening, FuckSanta.

SuffolkNWhat Sun 24-Apr-16 17:13:38

I will be upfront and say I work in an academy. For our school it has been a positive thing and we chose our MAT carefully. We are rated Good by Ofsted so were not forced into conversion but chose to join a local MAT that understood our area and the children's needs.

However, I do NOT agree with the Tory plans to force every school into becoming an academy, it is not the right choice for every school and as such one size does not fit all.

OurBlanche Sun 24-Apr-16 17:14:23

Oh no they haven't, Santa. Tory MPs have stated that they are confident they will overturn it, but that juggernaut is still rolling

blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/04/why-tory-mps-are-so-worked-up-about-forced-academisation/

Gatehouse77 Sun 24-Apr-16 17:17:41

My understanding is limited but I do have some experience.

Failing schools are forced down the route of becoming an academy. In my opinion, this is an abdication of responsibility by the government. Once they become an academy they lose their 'special measures' label and then it looks like the government have turned it around.

As with most policies, sometimes it will be fantastic and benefit the children. Other times it will be catastrophic and be of no benefit.

FuckSanta Sun 24-Apr-16 17:26:02

Ah. I thought they'd snuck it out while everyone was looking at the queen. Sorry. blush

cruikshank Sun 24-Apr-16 17:26:06

I disagree with them for several reasons.

1.School premises, buildings and amenities are public resources built and funded by public money. They should not be given to businesses because that is a transfer of public wealth to private hands.

2. Academies do away with parent governors. How can a school be accountable to parents if there is no-one representing them at governor level?

3. Academies do away with national pay scales and therefore lessen union ie employee bargaining power and influence. When a national union loses power this is a matter of national importance.

4. Accountability is not clear once LEA control is removed. Who are these academies answerable to? A key consideration in any organisation tasked with public funds is where power comes from and how it can be revoked.

Mishaps Sun 24-Apr-16 17:33:47

Agreed cruikshank - and in addition, if it ain't broke, why tinker with it? The lovely little school where I am governor is a gem - hands off say I!

OurBlanche Sun 24-Apr-16 17:35:44

If you want to know how it will work in practice, have a look at the American schooling sysytem... we may never get that far down that road, but it is a scary thought and is, no matter how they dress it up, privatising education in every way that matters.

cruikshank Sun 24-Apr-16 17:40:38

Mishaps - I always assume that if someone is proposing something, it's because they or someone whose interests they are tied up in will benefit from it. So I guess the reason why it's happening is because the tories' mates want it to. Certainly I've seen no evidence as to why academisation is pedagogically desirable which should surely be the main if not the only reason to make any changes to an education system.

GraysAnalogy Sun 24-Apr-16 17:42:06

Isn't making all our schools academies effectively privatising them, or am I misunderstanding?

OvertiredandConfused Sun 24-Apr-16 17:43:55

My DC go to a secondary academy. We have more SN pupils than any other school in the borough because we're first choice with parents.

rollonthesummer Sun 24-Apr-16 17:46:32

It will be awful.
1. Unqualified teachers
2. Dismantling of the pay and conditions. (Academies generally use them now as there are enough lea schools that teachers can go and work at if they are pissed off, but if there are only academies left and they have no money-the pay and conditions will go down.
3. Being run by overpaid academy bosses who may live/work miles away.
4. Lack of parent governors
5. Lack of money-lots of schools are falling to bits and won't have the budgets to repair the roof etc
6. Admissions. Academies can refuse to take children (LEA schools are forced to) so who will take all the 'disruptive' children or those with Sen that might not get good results if all schools are academies?

OurBlanche Sun 24-Apr-16 17:48:06

Some existing academies will be exceptionally good at SN, or maths, or PE, etc. Because that is what they will have set up to achieve. It will have been their reason for Academising in the first place.

Enforced Academisation just means that all schools will be effectively privatised and will do whatever the market will bear!

DixieNormas Sun 24-Apr-16 17:51:25

All our secondary schools have been academies for some time, I have 2 dc who have gone to different ones and both are fantastic. Some are better with dc with sn than others.

bringbacksideburns Sun 24-Apr-16 17:55:34

Agree Gatehouse.

In some cases it will not work out for the best. It's a cynical way of covering up failing schools and bringing in heads who are more business managers than from an educational background.

It's also another step on the way to taking away more Union power .

expotition Sun 24-Apr-16 17:56:35

disidealist.wordpress.com/2016/03/20/the-mysterious-case-of-the-disappearing-schools-how-state-schools-will-be-privatised-without-anyone-noticing/

OurBlanche Sun 24-Apr-16 17:57:58

Dixie, a lot did. DSIs's school made the decision not to. They are the local Centre of Excellence, they provide a lot of peer training and mentoring, and they made the deliberate decision not to remove themselves from the local group, even though it would have been better for them, in some ways.

Now they have to decide whether to Academise now, voluntarily and just run away from their support network or wait and be forced into a wider group with some schools that have bever taken part but are bigger and will, basically, will take over and dismnatle what they now have.

Yet other Academie have taken millions in cash and are now crumbling heaps of aggression, doom and despair. It isn't all good, not automatically a great move to better education.

CrowyMcCrowFace Sun 24-Apr-16 18:02:17

Also, MATs tend to be set up by businesses. Which means the MAT can then 'decide' it would be great if it bought the curriculum or building maintenance or snake oil from its parent company. At a price set by the parent company, & paid by the taxpayer.

SunnySomer Sun 24-Apr-16 18:27:55

In my experience some academies are fantastic and some are abysmal. The notion that what works for one will work for all is a complete nonsense.
When I was a governor at an outstanding primary our local MAT was very keen to get us to join them. However, when we looked at the Ts and Cs it quickly became clear that our governing body would disappear - the chair would have the opportunity to join the MAT Board and we felt this would risk the loss of the school's individuality and ethos. It was also clear that our staff would become assets of the trust and could be moved to other schools within the trust (which could, in our case, be on the opposite side of a city). There was not a single member of staff who had anything favourable to say about that idea.
Basically the most powerful school in the MAT had full control and we weren't prepared to be subsumed into that.

Now that Local Authorities have been starved of cash they are struggling to provide many of the services they historically have, however, the White Paper does leave them with a raft of responsibilities they will not be financed or equipped to carry out, for example allocation of school places. Simple enough (??) until all the local schools are full and amend their selection criteria, or start excluding children on tenuous grounds - where can the LA stick those children if they have no control over the schools who should be accepting them? Or do they have to build pupil referral units for the more challenging (behaviour or SEN) children?
In the academic year 2013-14 acafemies proportionally excluded three times as many children as non-academy schools. So either a disproportionate number of disruptive children attend academies, or something else is going wrong.

Thebrowntrout Sun 24-Apr-16 18:29:52

I don't really care to be honest; it will make very little difference.

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