ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
Academies Enterprise Trust (AET)(111 Posts)
This multiple academy trust (AET) is it seems interested in taking over the local secondary school that my children attend. They say they have a good track record of school inmprovement in other areas - is this true? Does anyone have any information?
Finally the powers that be are recognising the self serving nature of the AET.
Finally these issues are being looked into.
Eviltwins - I get the impression that nothing has changed at your school since the AET took over, the question then is why did they become involved if your academy is only just another source of revenue for them. I criticise AET mainly because it is on record that they have awarded contracts to suppliers connected to individuals who are past and present employees, directors or trust members. This practise although legal is in the eyes of many unsavoury, particularly as the end result isn't any noticeable increase in performance over that achieved by other schools/academies not run by chains. I don't think the intention of state education is wealth making for individuals. I'm sure that you wouldn't maintain that management and staff at your school weren't capable of achieving the same result without AET input as converter academies have proved.
It's just that I haven't seen you getting up in arms about E-Act, Harris, Oasis or any of the other chains.
I "defend" then because I work in one of their academies. Not by choice, I suppose, because I worked at the school before it was taken over by AET. Please remember that all schools live and die by reputation. Not all AET academies are academically poor and dubiously managed. Constant criticism, where it is not necessarily warranted, can cause damage. My school is doing very well now, and as I have said before on this thread, I have seen nothing detrimental since AET came in. They are more up-front about changes than the LA ever were.
Eviltwins - I think that given their poor educational performance, the fact that the DFE have been critical of them awarding service and project contracts to their own directors, trust members and other staff and the manner in which they now appear to be trying to take even more control way from academy head teachers, that is self explanatory. Academy chains need to be Ofsted inspected in order to encourage transparency and accountability. I could ask why you defend them, but will not as that is your right.
Warwick - you keep coming back to this thread. What's your issue with AET?
Now that e-act have had 10 academies removed from their control, maybe the DFE will finally tackle the largest chain (AET).
AET is advertising for a commercial partner in a joint venture to procure all non-teaching staff and services, in which it will have a majority stake. It gives headteachers much less autonomy than in maintained schools and could be profit-making. See:
Academies Enterprise trust has received warning letters from DFE re the performance of some of their academies. Is the DFE finally getting to grips with chain sponsors who have been letting their students and parents down over many years. Should academy chains such as the AET be subjected to Ofsted inspections in the same way that LA's are, would their failings have been spotted earlier saving many hundreds of students from suffering a poor education.
Warwick, I can't answer the majority of that. No new head. Yes to new governors, but we'd had an IEB whilst in SM so that would have happened anyway. No idea about the rest - as I say, the impact on me as a classroom teacher has been minimal.
Out of interest eviltwins. When your school became an AET sponsored academy did you get a new head teacher and chair of governors. Have you got an AET regional director/principal who supports the school? Also has your IT and facilities management been handed over to a direct labour organisation and was procurement given over to a procurement consortium. If so, under whose recommendation.
I don't know, Warwick. What I do know is that practically all the secondaries in my area are academies, and when my school came out of SM, we were told that we had to become one to "secure the future" of the school. It's all a pile of pants if you ask me. Their CPD provision is way better than the LA's was, and they do have a charitable trust schools can apply to for funding for special projects. Beyond that, I'm not sure. I do know that the increase in results is due to the hard work of the staff and consistently high standards of expectation that the students have risen to.
If the AET aren't having any effect on the performance of your school eviltwins' the question to be asked is what are you actually paying for. What is your school gaining out of the deal, I think we are all aware now what the directors and trustees of the AET are gaining aren't we?
I agree muminlondon that the older academies are still struggling to up their performance, but that isn't because the AET hasn't interfered in their running, in fact most it seems have at least one if not two or more AET sponsored head teachers imposed on them and likewise they have had AET appointed governors imposed. Maybe that is the problem, maybe they would have fared better without these enforced changes, maybe all they needed was an injection of direct funding.
EvilTwins I believe that AET doesn't interfere in the running of the school as much as other chains. I don't actually think chains make much of a difference if the intake is as imbalanced in an LA as it always was. I think that Gove is deliberately sabotaging the Labour academies by setting up a new tier of higher performing converter academies which now entrench any advantage they always had in catchment areas and admissions but LAs can't change that. Where it's expedient, he confuses sponsored and converter academies. Where they work, he claims credit. Where they don't, he will blame Labour. But he is segmenting the system to the point of no return.
I'm guilty of highlighting differences here but that's one of the insidious effects of league tables and all this information being published online.
As a teacher at an AET academy, I can say that our results this year, which are a slight improvement on last year, with significant improvements in certain subjects, are bugger all to do with AET running the school and everything to do with the teaching staff at the school. The academy chain has very little involvement in the day to day running of the school. We were taken over by AET 18 months (ish) ago. There is absolutely no difference between my results before then and my results now. All this talk of academy chains having a negative effect is pointless unless someone wants to compare results from before a school was taken over with those now. I know for a fact that the vast improvements in results at my school over the last 6 years is entirely down to the increase in the quality of teaching. AET has nothing to do with that.
TBH I suspect that the Ebacc in most schools will have risen significantly (at DCs school its up to 40% from 36% last year) as this is the first cohort of pupils who selected their GCSEs with knowledge of the Ebacc
there is no obligation at all on any school to publish its results - two near here are holding back because of remarks that may affect critical percentages - until the Dfe does in the new year
I suspect Academy chains are going to be under extreme pressure to show VFM
PS eviltwins I did not realise that an SMT suite was unusual - seems quite sensible in a big campus style comp - the new furniture, replacing stuff only four years old is my issue and the chairs are sad/funny
It's early and very provisional but have a look at these press releases
Harris: 13 academies
71% GCSEs 5 A*-C inc E&M (60% excl equivalents)
ARK: 8 academies
56% 5 A*-C inc E&M
AET: 24 academies
52% 5 A*-C inc E&M
As I said, no contextual data. But our local council published a full list of provisional GCSE results and Ebacc results on their website and as I mentioned, the AET school's Ebacc pass rate was 13% while the borough average was 40% (all comprehensives).
muminlondon Ebacc figures haven't been released yet. Do you mean figures for 5A*-C inc English & Maths? Again, nothing official has been published as yet. We don't even know what schools close to ours got, unless through word of mouth from colleagues. AET certainly haven't produced anything. Too early.
I think AET must be worried because they did not publish any information about Ebacc results and appear to have done worse than Harris or ARK on GCSEs. Not meaningful without contextual data on intake, pupil numbers, etc. and may be skewed by the selective school operated by Harris, etc.
But when full results are published there will be a big divide in Ebacc results. Labour intended the sponsored academies to banish the image of sink schools and have a more balanced intake, but Gove's policies have meant increased segregation. I almost feel sorry for AET. The Ebacc rate for our local AET school was less than a third that of the converter academies. It won't help recruitment.
Hmm. An SMT suite? Monogrammed chairs? I suspect this school is not typical of your average state secondary...
I would love to think so, but fresh furniture in the SMT suite and 200 monogrammed chairs for the school hall make me wonder what is being cut instead ....
They still don't have the money... Whether or not it's there for public scrutiny.
I know, I was over simplifying, but by golly some heads must be happy that they can bounce the governors into buying them new furniture and training trips without any public scrutiny
Talkin - I don't think it's fair or true to say that schools are "happy to jump into bed with academy chains" - it's pretty much a no choice scenario for a great many - including the one I teach at. It was a case of accept this or close down.
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