Anyone know anything about the Academies Enterprise Trust?(8 Posts)
Heard today that the school I work at has expressed an interest in becoming an academy, with the AET as sponsor. We had a fairly convincing talk from one of their execs. Not entirely sure what to think. Apparently, they have other academies (you can see where at www.academiesenterprisetrust.org). Does anyone have any experience of having DCs in a school run by them, or teaching in one?
Bumping for you as our school has said they are looking into it. From what I have read when a school says that they are considering it, it means that it is pretty much a done deal, how true that is I do not know.
City school: We back Rebekah
It's just business
Questions parents frequently ask
Q. What is an academy?
A. An academy is a school with no local links to the community or the council, but funded by the taxpayer.
Q. If a school becomes an academy and wants to change back, is that possible?
A. No. A decision to become an academy is irreversible.
Q. Will there be any changes to the catchment areas or admissions?
A. Academies are their own admissions authority and, therefore, set their own admissions policies.
They are at present required to abide by the admissions code. The government intends to remove the arrangements for monitoring admissions and there is already evidence that academies intakes are not representative of their local community.
Q. What impact does academy status have on special educational needs (SEN) provision?
A. All academy funding agreements should include details of their obligations regarding provision for children with SEN. An academy is expected to behave as if it were a maintained school in meeting the needs of children with SEN. However, the record shows that academies have a higher exclusion rate
than other types of school. In addition, further expansion of academies will undoubtedly reduce the coverage and effectiveness of local authority support for SEN provision as funding is reduced in order to divert funding for centralised services to the budgets of academies. The government is currently
consulting on major changes to SEN provison, which will further weaken the role of local government support services in this area.
Q. Once a school becomes an academy, what can parents do if they are not happy with any decisions made?
A. In the first instance, as now, parents can complain to the school. However, there are often fewer parent governors to complain to. Academies are not part of the local authority and, therefore, if parents are not satisfied or are unhappy with the outcome, they cannot complain, as they can now, to the local council to ask them to intervene on their behalf. Effectively, when a school becomes an academy there are no local avenues of complaint.
Q. Does becoming an academy mean that the school will get new buildings and facilities?
A. The government is making no provision for academies to have new buildings or new facilities.
Q. Will the academy have the same school term/school holiday dates and school day timings as all other local schools that continue to have links with the council?
A. Academies can set their own term dates and school-day timings without consultation with parents or the local council.
I don't have DC at their schools (still at primary level), but our local Secondary school has been taken over/on by AET. I've met David Fuller (I think he's one of the Chief Execs?) twice, and listened to him talk about AET and the changes that are being made at the local school.
FWIW, I think their hearts are in it - they are both passionate and experienced, and have had a lot of success. Fuller clearly cares enormously about the children, which made a big difference to how I felt about AET. It also seems that they've recently taken on quite a lot of schools...are expanding quite fast...and that would be my main question to them, should I meet any of them again: is that potentially going to mean spreading their expertise, time and energy too thinly?
The stats at our local secondary - which were dire - have already improved a great deal since last September when AET took over. The general impression of AET locally is positive.
HTH, just a teeny bit!
On the whole it seems they're no better than the existing schools system, academies take control away from the local stakeholders parents, community, governors,etc.. and and seek advice and give control to companies/business, (look at some of the titles, Chief Exec/Managing Director) who have no idea about the local situation; where does Rebeckah Brooks, (News of the World) live, not in Fulwood/Preston, I'm sure!
Role Model for young people?!
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