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How long before an SM school is forced to become an Academy

(3 Posts)
julieh1968 Fri 12-Oct-12 23:35:34

Does anyone know what sort of timescale a school in special measures is given to be showing improvement before they are forced into an academy. My daughters school was put in SM following an inspection in June although the report wasn't published until September. The school had only had a new head in January and I think she was given the benefit of the doubt and an opportunity to turn things around. When we had the SM meeting the guy from the LEA said that becoming an Academy was an option that had already been mooted.

THere was mention that the LEA aimed to have schools out of SM within 14 months and most parents seemed to be under the impression that nothing would happen about being a sponsored academy until that time. I didn't feel quite so positive as my opinion was that if it had already been mentioned the HT only had a very short time to show improvement before the axe fell!!

In our local area there are two schools that have recently been pushed to academy status, both of which have been failing for some time.

The current buzz is that Academy status is being investigated, although nothing official has been said. I think it may be a case of jumping before we are pushed.

My personal feeling is that only allowing a HT since mid June to turn things around is harsh - particularly bearing in mind that there was a six week break and the report was only published a month ago. Is it possible that the HT is being put on such a short time frame to show improvements. The SATS results have shown an improvement, although the percentage making 2 levels progress in maths has dropped slightly this year.
Level 4+Level 52 levels progress since KS1
Reading88%71% 83%
Writing88%33% 71%
Maths79%46% 67%

These results are clearly not appalling, it is the progress that was Ofsted's (and my own) concern.

Does anyone know how long schools are usually given before they are pushed? BTW we are in Essex if that has any bearing.


Idontthinksothanks Sat 13-Oct-12 11:44:35

I don't think they give schools any time to 'turn around'. Turning schools into academies is a key part of current government legislation and there are a number of mechanisms being used to bring this about.

At the school I have been involved with our results were below floor standard for a couple of years to July 2011 (no, that isn't good enough!). We were given a year to turn things around, but in reality, academy status was presented to us in March in a kind of 'jump before you are pushed' scenario. I had, and continue to have, very mixed feelings. Our appalling results and the reasons for them had been systematically ignored by the LA for a number of years, so I'm not sure I want to continue being under thier control, but I'm not too keen on being run by the 'private sector' either.

We spent a year working incredibly hard to turn around underperformance and we know that based on our 2012 KS2 results we will be one of the most improved primary schools in the country. We achieved what we set out to achieve at the beginning of the academic year, but it's made no difference, we still 'have' to become an academy.

To cut a long story short, the LA are currently attempting to micromanage our school with disastrous results - most of our staff have left/are leaving and we are unable to advertise for permanent staff due to the transition, cue lots of supplies, most of whom are poor quality. Our results will plunge back below floor again. Academy transition is having a terrible effect on our school, and yes, whilst it may get better in time, our current cohorts will not get this year again!

Rosebud05 Sun 14-Oct-12 00:24:48

It depends on whereabouts in the country you are, how keen your LEA is to get schools off their hands, how keen a particular academy chain is to take up your school (very, I should imagine, as they like schools that are doing pretty well, so that they can claim any future succesess are the result of academy conversion) and what Gove himself wants to happen to your school and when.

There are no objective measurements and no need for the DfE/LEA to take any notice of any consultation.

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