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Primary school proposing becoming a 'Foundation' school

(5 Posts)
EasyFromNowOn Wed 16-Jan-13 16:38:35

and joining a Co-operative Foundation charity with 3 other local schools. Is this the same as becoming an academy? The information we have been given so far is not terribly clear but doesn't have the word 'academy' in it anywhere.

There's a consultation meeting at the end of the month, which I may be able to go to but what stands out so far is:
The Co-operative Foundation is made up of three other local-ish school and 'other selected partners' but no information is given about who they might be

If they go ahead, the Foundation can add new members to the Governing board although 'staff, parents and community members would still be in the majority' - there's already a bit of an issue with the BoG being largely invisible, and this seems like it would tilt things further towards the Head being able to do whatever they want even more than is currently the case.

So, is this the same as an Academy, and what else do I need to know before the end of the month?


admission Wed 16-Jan-13 16:57:18

The answer is maybe. You can have a trust school that is a maintained school but you can also have an academy that is a trust school.
A foundation school means that they become responsible for being the employer of the staff and for admissions among other things.
The key question that you need to establish is whether the school will remain a maintained school. If it is then it is not an academy. If it says it will be outside of LA control then it is an academy.
Based on the co-operative model proposed then I suspect that it could be becoming an academy and that the power will not be with the governing body but with the co-operative trust which is acting as the umbrella organisation.
But you need more info.

EasyFromNowOn Wed 16-Jan-13 17:12:58

Thanks, admission. The leaflet we've been given says that the school will "still be part of the local authority family but has the opportunity to be supported by a Charitable trust set up to help the drive for improved standards..."

It also says they will still follow the Admissions code and 'receive funding through the LA'

We have a secondary academy in the city which is run by The Co-op, but this is not one of the schools proposed to be linked with. One of the proposed schools is an old-style foundation secondary, the other two are currently community primaries. Our school is a community Junior.

What else do I need to ask, and are the school obliged to answer?

Many thanks

admission Wed 16-Jan-13 23:22:44

The information would certainly say that this is an intention to become a foundation school that is still a maintained school, especially as they will still receive funding through the LA.
In effect they want to take control of admissions and employ the staff in the school and enjoy some other freedoms without moving to far away from the LA.
They should answer any question you ask - not much of a consultation if they don't. If you are junior school then I would ask about the partner infant school - why is that not joining and what effect does that have on your school, especially admissions. Incidently it does not matter what kind of school you are they all have to follow the admission code if they are receiving state funding.

EasyFromNowOn Thu 17-Jan-13 08:03:14

Thanks, again, admission.

I've managed to find the consultations from the two primaries who joined the secondary. From reading those, it appears that this is not exactly the same as the academy process, because there is a defined process set out for a Foundation school to become an academy. It also says that the schools remain 'part of the maintained family'.

I think the main concern I have is that this process seems to reduce the LA influence on the school, which may not be a great idea, given that the head already has a somewhat autocratic style, and the head of the group secondary is also known for this.

There are two infant schools who feed into this junior, although neither of them are officially linked. I still have a DD at one of them, so I will ask the lovely head there next time I see them.

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