My school finally became an academy after a lot of discussions and talk.
The end result is that we have the exact same Teachers Pay and Conditions, same maternity leave entitlement and pension. None of that has changed.
Yes, the school's curriculum can change. However, it must remain broad and balanced and National curriculum tests (SATs) still have to be given and are accountable to the DfE. But, there is no criteria that they have to take on the NEW strategy that the government always comes up with ever few years and the school is allowed to do what is right for the children of their school. The admissions criteria can change but it has to stay within the statutory requirements of the government. So, really there is not too much an infant or primary school can do. A junior or secondary school could add something like priority to infant or primary school child that works closely with that school. You can't have any tests or anything like that as part of your admissions (Only old grammar schools can keep the criteria that they already have.)
Talk to your new HT. He/she will be able to explain it better to you about specifics for your school/academy.
I take an interest in the new accademies...and find them a little secretive. They do seem to spend time patting themselves on the back. The one at machester says they teach eyecontact and being polite at job interviews. Are acadamies in general sort of making working class children middle class? Is there more ambition than compassion taught?
I am unsure what you mean by being secretive. My academy gets on with doing what is right for the children in our care so that they can go out and get jobs and be productive. We just get to do it our way and not some generic rubbish that comes out from the government or LA. Academies are still accountable to the government just like any other maintained school. So, if the children of that school are doing academically well but research shows they are not getting the jobs or uni places, then they need to look at what is holding them back. If it is about a few lessons or an ongoing ethos on eyecontact and being polite when speaking to others will support that, then so be it. I doubt that they have years worth of courses.