Confused about academy status(7 Posts)
Our secondary school was placed in "special measures" after a recent OFSTED report a few weeks ago. Now it is my understanding after a lot of furious Googling and reading that a school which finds itself in such a position will be forced to become an academy. This is all part of Mr Gove's masterplan, so I'm led to believe.
The school has not released any official statemtn about this as yet but I have just read in an online newspaper articles that the senior eladership team and the governers have refjected academy status.
My question to anyone who might be able to shed any ligt on this is, can they do this? I have heard directly from one of the governers that a DfE Sponsor Academy Broker Liaison type person has already visited the school so it must be on the cards.
Does anyone know what might happen next if they are trying to fight it?
Sorry about typos - very cronky, aged keyboard with sticky keys!
The first thing to say is that this is not something introduced by Michael Gove. It started under the last government and has been like it for years. Any school that goes into special measures must consider conversion to academy status.
In the situation you describe, whilst it is possible the school could avoid conversion it is more likely it will be forced to convert. If the governors refuse to co-operate the LA or the Secretary of State can either appoint additional governors or replace the governors with an interim executive board. Ultimately the Secretary of State can make an Academy Order which gives the school no choice but to convert. They could try to challenge this in the courts but such a challenge is unlikely to be successful.
When a school is in special measures the views of the governors and leadership team often carry little weight. They are the people that got the school into trouble in the first place. They are not necessarily the right people to get the school out of trouble.
Thanks for that info prh47bridge, it's very helpful. I am aware that academies were brought in by a Labour government but what I meant was that it's Gove who has brought in legislation through the Education Act 2011 to give the him necessary powers to force schools in special measures to convert. I do believe that this government has a covert agenda to see all schools convert to academy status eventually. Using the law to force schools who do not submit willingly to conversion is just another way of expediting the whole process.
So, in short it looks like our SLT and head are simply prolongng the agony if they resisit the inevitable...?
I know what you meant. The point I was making is that under the last government the LA or the Secretary of State could appoint additional governors or replace them with an IEB. An IEB would usually be tasked with converting the school into an academy, so Ed Balls and his predecessors in the role also had (and used) the powers needed to force a school in special measures to convert. All Gove has done is simplified the process and made it more open and above board by allowing the Secretary of State to use an Academy Order without having to go through the rigmarole of appointing an IEB to do the job for him.
I don't think there is anything terribly covert about the government's drive to massively increase the number of academies.
And yes, the leadership team, head and governors are almost certainly just prolonging the agony if they try to resist. As the school is in special measures the head's job may well be on the line and it may be that changes in the leadership team are also required. The governors may also be under pressure, particularly if Ofsted think they are not the right people to turn the school round. They may think they will be able to hang on to their jobs if they can stop the school from converting.
Yes, I had also thought that there was a certain amount of self interest on the head's part in resisting this because of the whole potential loss of job angle. From what I gather headteachers are at most risk because they can't readily transfer under TUPElike other staff can. I'd have thought the likelihood of a head that has steered a school off course being appointed to the role of principal in the new academy is pretty slim to say the least - even if they are invited to apply for the job.
It does annoy me that this futile resistance is prolonging the inevitable and causing more uncertainty and disruption. I think a lot of parents have now resigned themselves to academy conversion and are starting to think it may have real benefits to have a "new broom" sweep through the place.
I am aware from Googling that there are a couple of schools (especially one in Coventry) who have resisted forced conversion with success and been able to get the government to back down. They all seem to be primary schools though. I wonder if a more hardline approach is taken with secondary schools because of the GCSE results?
Does anyone else have experience of their "inadequate" secondary school resisting forced academy conversion and if so, what was the outcome?
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