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Academy Vs 'ordinary'(7 Posts)
My DS is going into year 4 in September but we are looking at moving in the next couple of years so have been looking at the secondary schools in our area. Most of the secondary schools in our current town are 'normal' (sorry unsure of terminology) secondary's but I have looked at a school today in a town we are considering and it is an academy. I don't know much about academies and just wanted some wise MN opinions on them. Am I crazy to be considering it or crazy not to? How different are academies to 'normal'?
Just to let you know that all the secondary schools bar two are Academies in my LA. Very many secondaries are academies now. They are nearly all academy converters in my LA. They were not forced to be academies but have prefered to become ones. It gives them a lot more flexibility and freedoms.
Can parents tell the difference? No. They have maintained their quality and nothing much has changed from a parent perspective. The schools still moan about budgets but parents really will not have noticed on a day to day basis and the LA schools are not worse off financially. The adacemies buy in all their services, as indeed do all the schools now, LSA or not. The budgets are devolved to them and they make choices about expenditure. Many of these services are supplied by a Trust formed by the LA. So not much difference there either! However some LAs are a lot more controlling so some areas might have bigger differences.
I think where there are forced academies due to poor performance it is different. Some academies are run by large MATs and then there may well be very obvious differences. You need to look closely at what type of academy it is. However few people can actually avoid academies now: they are everywhere. I would choose the school based on much more than whether it is an academy or not. Leadership, results, progress, subjects offered, pastoral care, parental support and so many other things take prescedence in my view. None of these are anything much to do with whether the school is an academy or not. It is far more to do with leadership and high quality teaching which can be provided by an academy or an LA school.
Judge each school on its merits, not on its governance model.
Most secondary schools are academies - 75% according to the latest statistics from the DfE. The main difference is that academies are funded directly by the government and are not controlled by the local authority. They have more freedom over curriculum, finances and teachers pay and conditions than community schools.
There are good academies and bad academies, just as with other types of school. As TeenTimesTwo says, judge each school on its merits, not how it is governed.
It makes no difference OP. Being an academy is just a financial arrangement.
Thanks all. Have seen some lovely houses in the town the school is in so this increases our options when we come to move (providing of course we can sell our house )
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