Question about "academy status"(4 Posts)
I am a community governor at a local primary school. Its most recent OFSTED rating was good. We are looking at becoming an academy but it looks to me as if doing so will mean passing control over to the academy trust who will appoint almost all the governors. (All but 2 staff, 1 teacher and the Head Teacher as far as I remember.)
I like the idea of locally accountable schools run my local people and this academy chain seems very soulless.
How does it work in practice?
Is the school choosing to become an academy? Or are you being forced to be an academy and being taken over by an academy chain? I find what you say a bit confusing. What chain is it? Usually there are fewer parent governors - not sure what you mean by all but 2 staff? Our LA school has 2 parent Governors, 1 staff and the Head out of 12 in total. However looking at similar schools who are run by an academy trust will tell you the size and mix of the GBs already in existence. Yes, the Trust appoints the Governors but that does not mean they will make wholesale changes. However all Governing Bodies must appoint Governors with specific skills and not just people they like or have served for a long time. As you have skills and experience and, presumably, are willing to continue, then you may well be suitable. Take a look at the Government's Latest Governor Handbook.
I think that what needs to happen here is for the governing body to take control of the situation. They have the ultimate responsibility for making all the decisions around any decision to become an academy. So I am really concerned that as a member of the governing body you are clearly not fully aware of what you are getting yourself into.
So to me the question is who is driving this move forward and why?
It is now not considered the right way forward to be converting to academy status as a single school and depending on who you talk to, one would expect any multi-academy trust (which is what you would be) to be at least 500 pupils strong and probably more realistically 1000 pupils strong. So hat could be 2 schools or it could 5 schools joining together.
The governors of the current schools will make all the decisions to set up the MAT and what you will have is an academy trust that is the body that has responsibility for all the schools in the MAT. Each school will probably (but not necessarily the case) have what is called a local governing body. The Trust delegate to the LGB as much or as little power as they wish - so in reality they could have very little or potentially practically all the power. The other thing that is now much more critical is that the people on the Trust Board and the LGB have appropriate skills rather than be picked because they fit a particular group of people (parents, staff etc).
The OP talks of an Academy Chain though. So is the school joining an already established Academy chain eg The Co-op?
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