Secondary school being forced to become an academy - what can we expect to happen now?(13 Posts)
We've been cackademied. Consistently 'good' in Ofsted terms - the HT just fancied the substantial bung to his salary as he nears retirement, & to be fair, our LA has been pretty much destroyed already.
The main difference so far is that we all have to be especially nice to the child of the chair of governors.
My DCs low achieving, in and out of special measures school has just become an academy. The uniform had recently been changed (yippee black polyester!) so apparently a new one isnt expected soon.
The school has introduced a two week timetable which means that no one knows whether they are coming or going.
A couple of years ago the school managed to crawl out of special measures and achieved the dizzy heights of 'Satisfactory'. After those brief euphoric moments the school has slid back down again. After the HT's latest monumental cock-up I think we will be hearing the marching feet of Ofsted inspectors once more.
This isnt an inner-city school, it is a medium sized school in a small town. It is the only school in the town so should achieve roughly average standards in all things. In all my time associated with the school it has consistently failed to achieve even these modest standards.
Unless the academy partners' budget runs to a stick or two of dynamite and a bulldozer then I dont see things improving any time soon.
Thanks for your input, it's good to hear how others are finding it. I think this thread will be helpful to other going through the same process who might have the same questions so I hope others will post to share their experiences.
monstermissyyour experience so far sounds very encouraging. I hope we have a similar one.
Cezzy to be honest it's one of my fears that the current Head will be allowed to stay in post but I hope yours is able to make a go of things if she's the right person for the job.
harbingerofdoom our school is not between Brighton and Chichester.
I'll post again as soon as I hear anything from the school. They haven't got as far as identifying a sponsor partner yet though as far as I know.
And interestingly, the current head arrived almost 5 years ago (when the school was rated 'Good') and introduced a new uniform, a 'zero tolerance' behaviour policy, over 70 exclusions in her first few weeks, a new reward system with vouchers and whatnot, dramatic changes to lunchtime (which is now 40 mins starting at 1:40 instead of an hour starting at 12:30) and an 'equipment crackdown' that means an automatic same day detention for anyone without a pencil sharpener (any of another dozen items)... In other words, much what you might have expected from an 'Academy conversion'.
These changes were not successful, and attainment is poor and apparently falling, especially for boys.
Three years ago, Ofsted 'downgraded' the school to 'Satisfactory', and now - though the report is not yet public - it seems it has been judged to have 'Serious Weaknesses' and is headed for Special Measures...
I will watch this thread with interest, because it looks like this is about to happen to my DSs' school too...
Is this school on the South Coast?
Between Brighton and Chichester?
Our school has just become an academy, they had meetings with parents with the preferred sponsor beforehand and opinion was mixed but they had no choice as like you they had been rated down by Ofsted, and on their interim inspection just carried out, surprise surprise,they are now ok. Uniforms will be changed in September and the head kept her job after a long interview process. So far there are no evident changes for the kids but they are going to improve the building soon. Hope it goes okay.
Ds1s school became a academy two years ago, our experience has been fantastic. The school has turned around so much already the future looks very bright. Everyone already attending was given a whole new uniform including pe kits. It operates a zero tolerance approach to behaviour that the kids have responded well to. The kids good achievements are rewarded (ipods, itunes vouchers, time in the games room etc) not just academic achievements either. The head is great and on a massive wage (100,000) I think she's been worth every penny for the difference the her leadership had made.
Hope that helps.
Realistically it is about 4 months to complete the process of becoming an academy. Uniform changes are up to the new people in charge to decide on, so in many instances this does not happen immediately. It is also much easier to do this at the start of an academic year in september. Start and finish times have to be consulted upon and have to only take place in september in community schools and suspect the same applies to academies.
Can't be precise on the other questions other than things like behaviour improvement can be achieved within a few months - usually after a lot of exclusions but any improvement in result are obviously longer term that this.
Our school has recently been placed in "special measures" so will be forced to work with an academy partner to oversee its improvement.
Apparently, a sponsor partner hasn't been identified yet but I was wondering, in your own personal experience of forced academy conversion, what can we expect to happen from now on in?
We've had nothing formal from the school to keep us in the loop so I've got so many quesitons to ask about forced rather than voluntary conversion, for example:
* What was the timescale for your conversion once a partner was chosen?
* What happened about letting you know about uniform changes, if any?
* Did the school start/finish times change?
* Did you notice much change in terms of timetabling?
* Did you notice much change with setting of lessons?
* Did you notice many changes in terms of ethos about acceptable behaviour?
* What are you new Head/Governors like? Are you impressed?
* Do you consider them to be an improvement?
* Did you or have you noticed much change overall in the school and if so, how quickly did you start to notice?
I'd love to hear about your experiences...
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