Primary schools become academies?

(25 Posts)
gaskells155 Mon 26-Nov-12 17:03:15

Hello
, I am doing a forum as part of my teaching course at college. I would be extremely greatful if you could share your views with me.
"The goverment will improve the UK's 400 weakest primary schools by turning them into academies".
What are your views on primary schools becoming academies?

lljkk Mon 26-Nov-12 17:03:55

Is there a list of which ones they are?

gaskells155 Mon 26-Nov-12 17:10:56

There isn't any exact school's mentioned in the articles I have seen, just that over 400 are set to become academies.

lljkk Mon 26-Nov-12 17:14:39

From what I can tell, being an academy means the school has to have a lot of inhouse expertise in order to make wise spending decisions. Such expertise is least likely to exist, the smaller the school is. So by virtue of mostly being small institutions, primaries are going to find it hard to succeed as academies. More prone to coming under undue influence of some kind of ideologue party (sponsor, charismatic individual governors, etc). So I guess you can say I'm pretty skeptical about the whole idea.

cumbrialass Mon 26-Nov-12 17:18:54

Why will turning a school into an academy improve a school? It isn't the act of becoming an academy that makes the difference, it is the hard work and effort the staff and supporters put in that does. That hard work and effort is needed whether the school becomes an academy or remains within LA control.
It's like saying you will improve a shop by changing the name but keeping the same staff, prices and stock.

dinkystinky Mon 26-Nov-12 17:19:44

My DS1's primary school is in the process of being forced to become an academy - they are one of the 400 weakest apparently. If it were voluntary, and something the parents elected to do (after all, no one wants their child to go to a weak school), I would feel much happier about it. As it is, we've had a year of uncertainty and turmoil following a harsh ofsted where the school suddenly went from satisfactory to special measures and then, because the school is in special measures, the Dept of Ed told the governors that they had to become an academy and accept the sponsor that the DofE had in mind or else they would be forced to. We wanted a local community secondary school with whom the school has close ties to become the sponsor - the DofE said no way. So, here we are, stuck with their chosen sponsors (who fortunately seem to be supportive of the good things about the school - its ethos, its focus on arts and community, etc). The way schools are becoming academies is very very underhand and absolutely atrocious.

Pancakeflipper Mon 26-Nov-12 17:27:41

I think it is a quick fix.
Money thrown at it but a few years down the line when the boilers break/roofs need repairing/playgrounds need resurfacing/ the kitchen equipment needs replacing etc etc... Well I think schools are going to struggle.

I think leadership could be full of people in there for the wrong reasons.

I understand they can decide their own catchment areas - that could cause mayhem.

Makes me feel very disheartened.

pointythings Mon 26-Nov-12 18:02:54

DD2's school went Academy in 2011 - by choice, they were Good verging on Outstanding - and nothing much has changed.

I think Michael Gove's forced academy programme is atrocious though, his way of handing more schools over to the private sector by stealth.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 26-Nov-12 19:09:41

Converter schools no longer get much extra money.
Get less external support
And will be hung out to dry if it is expedient to do so for the benefit of a 'sponsor chain'
this will ALL go wrong within three years

fingers crossed for a government reshuffle

yellowsubmarine53 Mon 26-Nov-12 20:05:55

Agree with other posters. There is absolutely no evidence that converting maintained schools in to academies improves performance or anything else. Absolutely none.

Also, the complete disregard for existing expertise and communities and the top down approach described by dinky throws the cronyism into stark relief.

plainjayne123 Mon 26-Nov-12 21:11:58

I am a governor of an outstanding primary in the process of becoming an academy. More than 50% of secondary schools are academies now, and maybe primaries catch up with that over the next few years. To be honest I don't see why we are doing it. The arguements are that the LA doesn't help us now so we won't lose anything and we will have more power to spend money as we like, and we will form tighter links with other primaries who convert with us and this will help our school improvement process.

Pancakeflipper Mon 26-Nov-12 21:37:50

All you need is for a legal case to occur ( safeguarding,H&S etc) and a school with academy status is stuffed cos it costs thousands/millions for decent legal representation ( which currently is a tab picked up by the local authority).

cumbrialass Mon 26-Nov-12 21:41:47

and if an academy goes into special measures, where does the help come from? At the moment if a LA school goes into measures advisors are literally crawling out of the woodwork,money, help with planning, mentoring, observations, staff training, you name it, the local authority provides it. Just where is all this support coming from for an academy?

TalkinPeace2 Mon 26-Nov-12 21:41:57

let alone buildings insurance ..... currently being 'covered' by the Dfe because they did not realise that LEAs do not tend to have it :-)

TalkinPeace2 Mon 26-Nov-12 21:43:03

cumbria
it doesn't
they get converted to a sponsor
or it gets contracted (at a nice markup) back to the LEA

TalkinPeace2 Mon 26-Nov-12 21:45:34
RiversideMum Mon 26-Nov-12 21:54:40

I used to work for a large "outstanding" primary that looked into becoming an academy and couldn't make the £££ numbers work - even at the time when there was lots of money slushing round for early changers.

The only reason the government want schools to become academies is so they no longer need to employ people in LA to help school. Also teachers pay and terms and conditions change.

As all school services will have to be sourced and paid for by the school, where as now school buy back services from the LA.

The school I parent governor at is in 'needs to improve' category and we have refused to become an academy as it is of no use or improvement to our school.

mam29 Mon 26-Nov-12 22:23:48

http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/school-ndash-lots-changes/story-16825727-detail/story.html

The academies concern me.

Apart from the independants who turn academy -2secondrys
or the high performing schools that changed.

Im not convinced the sink schools turned academy ill change that much despite shiny new building, new blazers its still same demographics.

The 3primary academies are similar area and people who live there do their best to get schools out of catchment as my freind takes bus with her dd every day . I do know one mum at one of them and says still feels same just shes had to fork out for new uniform.
Unless you get even mix of kids academically and social class they cant see the school getting massivly better results than it did before.

mam29 Mon 26-Nov-12 22:24:41
lljkk Tue 27-Nov-12 07:49:15

So basically it means less money long term to the school, dressed up as "more spending freedom". Pah. How stupid do they think we are?

yellowsubmarine53 Tue 27-Nov-12 08:23:38

It doesn't matter how non-stupid or otherwise parents, teachers, the community or LA are....

See barrister David Woolfe's blog below - Michael Gove is pretty much the sole decision maker on all this.

davidwolfe.org.uk/wordpress/archives/1361

eviekingston Tue 27-Nov-12 10:30:43

The outstanding primary where I teach has just moved to academy status. yellowsubmarine53 makes a good point. To be honest the arguments for/against are pointless in my experience. The decision was made, the governors backed it, consultation with parents/staff was derisory, we became an academy. If staff were unhappy they were told they could leave.

ISeeSmallPeople Tue 27-Nov-12 10:35:37

4 parents attended our 'consultation'. We were given 4 days notice then told to ignore the email.

I'm furious, but no one is listening.

yellowsubmarine53 Tue 27-Nov-12 11:14:10

The law states that schools have to 'consult'.

The case I link to above evidenced that it matters not a jot what the outcome of this consultation is...

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