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Turning all schools into academies

(89 Posts)
KathrynL Wed 16-Mar-16 09:24:11

I've only just seen online that in today's budget the Tories are due to announce plans to turn all schools into academies. I'm not big on politics and I don't know too much about academy schools and the difference between them and community schools so could anyone fill me in on what it will mean and do I need to worry.

AuntieStella Wed 16-Mar-16 09:26:28

You might be interested in this thread:

Bolognese Wed 16-Mar-16 09:36:25

It wont make any difference to good schools, most people couldn't tell the difference between the two.

It does mean councils no longer have responsibility for schools (thankfully) and schools will now have the autonomy to make their own improvements.

chunkymum1 Wed 16-Mar-16 09:40:14

I may have entirely misunderstood but I thought that the announcement was for all schools rated by Ofsted as 'inadequate' to become academies, not absolutely all schools.

chunkymum1 Wed 16-Mar-16 09:41:50

Bolognese- crossed posts I think- sorry

KathrynL Wed 16-Mar-16 09:44:12

Oh thanks, i didn't know there was already a thread up and running on the matter. From what I read I though it was all schools except faith schools?

AuntieStella Wed 16-Mar-16 09:45:09

The BBC is trailing it as all schools: "Under the education package of reforms, every state school in England will have to become an academy - meaning they are independent of local authority control - by 2020 or to have a plan in place by that date to do so by 2022"

We'll know for sure when he gives the speech (due to start at 12:30)

BathshebaDarkstone Wed 16-Mar-16 09:46:46

Ours has just been academised, we're still waiting to see whether it benefits our DC or not. confused

BombadierFritz Wed 16-Mar-16 09:48:37

Think of all that land and buildings - given away for free. Thatcher would not have been so stupid/clever as to give it away to rich mates

Bolognese Wed 16-Mar-16 09:54:40

Non of the land is being given away for free, that is just nonsense. It is school land and it will stay school land, the academy cant just close the school and sell off the land, its just ridiculous scaremongering.

meditrina Wed 16-Mar-16 09:56:30

It's not given away for free.

The standard arrangements depend on the type of school before conversion:

community schools – generally the land is owned by the local authority. The academy trust will occupy the school site by way of a 125 year lease and the local authority will become the landlord of the academy trust

voluntary schools – land ownership is often split between the local authority and the diocese. For any land owned by the local authority, the academy will occupy that part of the school site through a 125 year lease. Where the diocese own the land, it is usual for the diocese to grant the academy trust a licence to use the land under the church supplemental agreement

trust schools – the freehold of the land will be transferred from the current foundation to the academy trust so that the academy trust will be the outright owner of the land.

LemonBreeland Wed 16-Mar-16 09:59:18

This announcement made me glad that I am raising my children in Scotland. There was a national curriculum brought in for a reason, the though of all schools being able to do whatever they please is truly frightening.

prh47bridge Wed 16-Mar-16 09:59:26

Think of all that land and buildings - given away for free

Whilst ownership may pass to the academy trust it is a very restricted form of ownership. If the academy trust closes or wants to dispose of any land it will normally return to public ownership with no payment. If the land is not required by the authorities and the academy trust wants to retain ownership they have to purchase the property at its full commercial value - that is the value at the time of purchase, not the value today. Describing this as giving land and buildings away for free is seriously misleading.

Bolognese Wed 16-Mar-16 10:03:53

Academies cant and wont ditch the national curriculum, more nonsense scaremongering. And even if they could, why would they?

meditrina Wed 16-Mar-16 10:13:59

Academies can ditch the NC, but their pupils still sit SATs, GCSEs etc so would find it difficult to depart far from it.

It wouldn't be chaos not to have one at all, though. It was introduced under Thatcher in the 1980s, and bitterly opposed by teaching unions at that time as unnecessary and undermining of teachers' professionalism and judgement. So although you'd probably have to be over 50 (or have a career in private schools) to have first hand knowledge of developing your school's own curriculum, the relevant experience exists. And those who protested against the introduction of the NC might indeed be welcoming the freedom to depart from it.

Bolognese Wed 16-Mar-16 10:27:03

Technically an academy could ditch the NC, the point I was trying to make is that the pupils will still have/want to pass GCSE's exams which do follow the NC. So I guess a school could have such experienced and amazing teachers that passing exams without specific study is possible but I cant see it ever happening.

KathrynL Wed 16-Mar-16 10:39:55

It's just so up in the air isn't it. I'll be watching the budget closely later today.

eddiemairswife Wed 16-Mar-16 10:46:16

At the moment the onus is on the LA to ensure that there are enough school places for all the children in the area. Who will the responsibility lie with when all schools are academies?

KathrynL Wed 16-Mar-16 11:17:03

That's quite scary when you really think about it. The school admissions process is stressful enough as it is for most parents.

Bolognese Wed 16-Mar-16 11:29:31

Why do you think it wont still be the councils responsibility? The council are responsible for lots of things they dont actually deliver!

prh47bridge Wed 16-Mar-16 12:57:20

The onus for ensuring there are enough school places still falls on the council. If more schools are needed the council can get one built but they have to find someone else to run it, which could be an existing academy trust or it could be a trust set up specifically for this school.

And going back to an earlier post...

the though of all schools being able to do whatever they please is truly frightening

So the thought of allowing teachers to decide what they should teach rather than the government directing what is taught is frightening?

The NC was introduced to make it easy to compare schools and set up league tables. It initially just covered core subjects but has now expanded to the point where most state schools have no time for anything else.

Paperm0ver Wed 16-Mar-16 13:15:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

eddiemairswife Wed 16-Mar-16 15:22:51

Prior to 1987 there was no National Curriculum.

Bolognese Wed 16-Mar-16 15:28:05

My local council is planning to build a new Free School and is looking for someone to run it. Seems councils can still open new schools where they think their is a need.

meditrina Wed 16-Mar-16 15:41:26

"Seems councils can still open new schools where they think their is a need."

Yes, they can, and have always been able to. But they do have to jump through hoops to demonstrate that they have been unable to find someone to open as a free school before being allowed to.

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