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Academy Schools - how do they affect a child's education?

(11 Posts)
jellershaw Mon 26-Sep-11 13:49:07

I'm currently looking at high schools and I'm considering a school that has recently changed to an academy. It has consistently high results over last ten years but I wonder if anyone has any experience or thoughts on how academy status influences outcomes for children. I've read loads about how the staff pay and management structure is affected + and - but can't find information about how children are affected and if the curriculum is negatively affected. Any thoughts?

inkyfingers Mon 26-Sep-11 14:57:02

My DCs' school has just become an academy. Nothing much has changed so far. the school's reasoning was that it enabled them to have less interference in how they ran the school, but it was outstanding before anyway, and I understand, Ofsted don't 'bother' much with o/s schools whether academies or not. Academies are funded and structured differently, but unless they change the curriculum or sack lots of teachers it probably won't affect the pupils much.

Time will tell.... I don't know much about the old-style academies which were often failing schools given cash and new sponsors to turn things around. Some have, some haven't. Maybe I'm an optimist and a good school won't want to do anything to affect its reputation/results.

inkyfingers Mon 26-Sep-11 14:59:10

I think that's a brilliant question to ask head or deputy at open evenings etc. You've nothing to lose and totally relevant to a parent choosing a school 'what's my DC going to get out of this?' It's a question most heads should be expecting to be asked!

Once at the school it's harder for parents to ask questions as you'll be joining the awkward squad.

prh47bridge Mon 26-Sep-11 17:39:14

The evidence of the academies set up under the last government is that the pupils generally do better at GCSE and A-level. Whilst some academies have struggled, most are producing better results than the schools they replaced and the improvement in results is greater than that in other schools in the area. Of course, as inkyfingers points out, these academies were generally failing schools. It remains to be seen whether or not the new academies will duplicate this success.

mummytime Tue 27-Sep-11 08:30:43

If my kids school, which has just become an academy improved its results by much it would be out performing super selective Grammars, and its a normal comp. Teachers pay and conditions we were told couldn't be changed, its mainly support staff which could, but they aim to be fair at present.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 27-Sep-11 08:34:59

My DDs school became an academy last year. It was excellent before, I can't detect any change except they've been given a lot of money this year to build a 6th form centre.

Debs75 Tue 27-Sep-11 08:40:19

MY DD's school became an Academy 2 years ago and it was one of the failing schools.
Exam results have risen but they are still pretty low compared with the top schools but better then the worst schools.
They do offer more different subjects and they have a G&T which dd is in and she has done her G.C.S.E.'s early so can now do different ones in her last year.
They also have changed the timetable around which gives her different home times.

Overall I would say it has affected her education in a good way

Theas18 Tue 27-Sep-11 09:11:34

My kids go to 2 highly selective grammars and they have become academies as of september. Reasoning was briefly access to better funding and less LA control. Also likely to protect the selective status longer term I think (every few years there is a "will they be abolished" wibble)

Theas18 Tue 27-Sep-11 09:12:06

Meant to say we are told nothing will change, and it hasn't yet bar the girls school introducing silly blazers for yr7!

jellershaw Wed 28-Sep-11 10:22:39

Thanks for all the messages. Experiences seem to be positive and I hope an academy can offer a wider curriculum choice - I just worry how the unrest experienced in some schools from suspicious or nervous staff may impact on the quality of teaching and the ethos of the school. Children are quick to pick up on unrest. It shouldn't affect a professional teachers pedagogy but I'm sure we've all had times of frustration that have affected our work or life.

paulapantsdown Wed 28-Sep-11 10:39:46

Well according to my neighbour, who is a French teacher in an academy, the only difference is that the teachers pay scales can now be dependant on results. Therefore, they work harder! Sounds like a win win to me.

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