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School turning into Academy Advice please

(21 Posts)
EmilyAda Tue 26-Mar-13 09:23:40

My DS (yr7) school is being turned into an Academy in Sept 2013, not sure why as satisfactory/good on ofsted
Went to meeting last eve, but they didn't seem to be able to give
any answers just the standard it will improve your childs education
blah blah of course there will be enough resources our sponsors
will see to that, but when pushed couldn't/wouldn't name them just
said that money comes from central government. Now very confused
Has this happened to your childs school? & Is it any better than previously?

orangepudding Tue 26-Mar-13 09:33:27

My children's primary school has been an academy since March. I haven't noticed any changes. It's an outstanding school so the change was the schools choice, not because it was failing.

EmilyAda Tue 26-Mar-13 09:37:30

Oh right, so could be they are taking forward, could be a good thing
I think I'll write to the governors maybe they will have more detail

MrsExcited Tue 26-Mar-13 10:20:59

The pressure from the government is that all schools should be academies and under their direct control, they are trying to get the LAs shut own and route all the money direct to schools. In many ways this is a good thing LAs take a lt of schools budget to organise central things 8% at the secondary I work at, whereas our proposed sponsor will only take 4%.

Good or outstanding schools can self sponsor, those that require improvement or are judged inadequate will require a sponsor(another school or a specialist company.)

As a parent I doubt you will notice much change, standards in schools are being watched very closely ATM and any weakness in the eyes of ofsted are being quickly jumped on.

I say this as middle management and a staff governor.

Talkinpeace Tue 26-Mar-13 13:15:36

The concern is that once schools are Academies nobody is overseeing the Head and a fair few are getting delusions of grandeur.
Give it a couple of years and the "lighter touch" on education will turn out to be as ill thought out as the one on Finance was.

EmilyAda Tue 26-Mar-13 13:24:08

MrsExcited thanks our HT seems very grounded so hope he wont become
ego man!
sounds like there could be better decisions made regards resources etc if more control of money in school hands

Hulababy Tue 26-Mar-13 13:26:19

You can probably guarantee a better ofsted next time round ime ;)

EvilTwins Tue 26-Mar-13 13:44:59

What do y know about the sponsor, OP? I teach in a school which became an academy 18 months ago. We were just out of special measures, having had a fairly torrid couple of years at the hand of a dreadful Head. Things are far better now, but, as a teacher, I can't put my finger on anything that's different simply because we are an academy.

dingit Tue 26-Mar-13 13:49:11

My dcs both attend an Academy, which was a failing school two years ago, and is now heading in the right direction. There are one or two things that concern me, and I have joined the PTA, to get to know the academy and staff better. Maybe that's something you could consider?

Talkinpeace Tue 26-Mar-13 16:42:01

many academies do not have sponsors - my kids school does not

JenaiMorris Tue 26-Mar-13 16:47:34

Ours went from Outstanding to Good, Hula.

I have no idea if it's sponsored or not - I assume it isn't because I'd know, wouldn't I? confused

MrsExcited Tue 26-Mar-13 17:02:12

There are the ones who are asked (told with a big stick hiding just out of sight) to become academies, these are schools that are Requires improvement (the new word for Satisfactory) or those who are inadequate

Those that are outstanding or good are able to self sponsor! hence the lack of control from others.

One of the biggest differences i believe is that teachers can no longer rely on Standard pay and conditions. IMO Teachers will groan, others will prob cheer!!

creamteas Tue 26-Mar-13 18:10:16

My DC's school changes to an academy last year (not sponsored and as a good school). They did this as they thought they would be better off financially (although it doesn't appear that this has not really been the case).

The HT and Governors are the same, so no real changes have been introduced, and no changes in the standards of teaching. But as mentioned above their is no oversight now, so if things go downhill, or the HT changes to one that wants to do problematic things, then there is nothing to stop it happening.....

MrsExcited Tue 26-Mar-13 21:36:28

It brings in legal responsibility for the governors, they are required to uphold standards and therefore are much more closely scrutinized by OFSTED, OFSTEDs are being sprung much more rapidly, almost 40% of Secondaries have been inspected since September 2012 (That's a lot!!)

MrsExcited Tue 26-Mar-13 21:36:50

Sorry meant to read 40% in my county!!! (not UK!)

Talkinpeace Tue 26-Mar-13 22:28:33

DCs school converted a year ago.

Ofsted have written to them to say they will not be inspected for three years (gleefully put on the website)
and the same week the timetable was messed with again and more academc subjects dropped from the curriculum (Latin and German)

Ofsted do not enforce.
They report but they have absolutely no powers or rights to effect change.
That used to be the LEAs job and is now (probably) the Dfe's.
Ther is NO proper scrutiny of Academies.

EmilyAda Wed 27-Mar-13 11:16:35

Thanks for all comments on this
I am considering joining PTA to put my mind at rest that at least
I will be more in "the know" than a regular parent as nothing really gets
past on in secondary schools

pointythings Wed 27-Mar-13 21:44:30

DD1's school is going academy in September. It has always been rated good, but it did get hit hard by the GCSE boundary scandal, which left it below floor target for five good GCSEs in core subjects. I suspect they are jumping before they are pushed, at least their sponsor is a not for profit organisation.

DD2's primary went Academy in 2011 (voluntarily) - nothing much has changed, they are still heavily involved in teacher training, the head is still fabulous, it is an amazing school.

Not all Academies are created equal...

prh47bridge Thu 28-Mar-13 00:01:56

Ofsted do have powers to effect change. They can place an academy on Notice to Improve or Special Measures. Either way the academy has to satisfy Ofsted that it has a satisfactory plan in place to address the problems and will be regularly inspected until it is no longer in a category of concern.

Talkinpeace Thu 28-Mar-13 20:05:41

I admire your confidence in the system.

But sadly you are reading what should happen rather than what does.

My local secondary (I've previously messaged you the details) is academy sponsored and has been for 4 years : but the results are persistently and consistently bad. THis is the school that merged a 700 pupil with an 800 pupil and now has 400 pupils and 0% ebacc.

By any reasonable measure, that school should be taken away from the LEA and handed to a sponsor, preferably a religious one.
Whoops. Done that.
Now, there is a huge, massive, ginormous political pressure to NOT let the school revert to fail and therfore need a NEW sponsor.

So, where is the fallback / oversight / accountability (my professional expertise)?

EvilTwins Thu 28-Mar-13 22:15:49

Talkin - whereabouts are you? That sounds an awful lot like a school near me. It's currently haemorrhaging teaching staff as well, if the TES jobs page is to be believed.

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