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Experiences of becoming part of an academy chain.
9

notHarris · 17/08/2021 20:26

Hi everybody, i'm a teacher and this week I've heard a whisper (nothing official yet) that a large academy chain has set their sights on our school.
Can anybody tell me what your experiences have been?
Is there a consultation period or do they just rock up?
Do pay and conditions stay the same?
We're there many redundancies?
How did they treat staff afterwards?

Anything really, I'd like to know what might be about to come so I can be mentally prepared. Thanks!

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AICM · 18/08/2021 15:53

My school turned into an academy about 6 years ago.

It has made no difference to me at all.

The head has had a large parish.

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notHarris · 18/08/2021 19:33

@AICM

My school turned into an academy about 6 years ago.

It has made no difference to me at all.

The head has had a large parish.

Does parish=pay rise?

That's good to know, thank you!!
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JaffavsCookie · 18/08/2021 20:33

We academised about 5-6 years ago too, and has made no difference to us at all, we have gradually become a large MAT, but we were more or less in at the start.
However I think what you are suspecting might happen is very different as established large chains definitely appear to have a very corporate way across their schools ( at least that is the case with the 2 largest chains around here) and that might mean a very significant change for you.

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notHarris · 18/08/2021 20:42

Thanks @JaffavsCookie that's my worry really. In some ways it could be a positive, they're not one of the chains that already has a terrible reputation and may actually be good for our school, but they seem to pay staff quite poorly so I'm worried about a sudden £10 grand pay drop 😬
We'll see what happens I suppose!

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JaggedLittlePilI · 18/08/2021 20:57

Honestly, I had a horrible experience. We were a good school but went academy to line the head's pockets. First meeting to parents was all about how ineffectual staff would be managed out, even though there were no underperformers on our staff (I was SMT). Summed up the attitude of the MAT though, it wasn't about his the children would be inspired or standards would improved or anything like that. No part time staff allowed. Workload became insane with graded work scrutinies/drop ins every fortnight. Impossible to make changes as there was a MAT policy for everything. I left and now work in a beautiful village school. An ofsted inspector I know, who I admire greatly and who is nearing retirement, says they would never work under a MAT and that MATs have been terrible for education - I'm inclined to agree.

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notHarris · 18/08/2021 21:01

Oh God!! This is my worst nightmare really Shock

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Scarby9 · 18/08/2021 22:25

No change to pay or conditions with ours.
Each school retains its individuality except for weekly HT meetings, termly subject leader mtgs, and a shared assessment and recording system with joint moderation sessions.
Working together within the MAT is seen as a positive, but there is no extra money. We still work closely with the LA too.

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phlebasconsidered · 19/08/2021 09:36

Pay and conditions stayed the same but all older, expensive staff were soon gone, myself included, through a combination of capability, bullying, and placing them in year groups they were not specialist in. Lots of nqt and cheap / free scitt students came in. I complained about the frankly appalling way some of the SEND students were "encoraged" to leave and handed in my notice. Everything was about image, profit and getting the stats to look better.

It is nigh on impossible to find a school that is not academised in my area but some are better than others. You need to check the contracts carefully as not all follow the old burgundy book. New staff often have different contracts.

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notHarris · 19/08/2021 11:26

@phlebasconsidered that's not at all uncommon regarding older/more expensive staff sadly and it's an appalling practice...... all they seem to care about is saving money.
Times like this I'm grateful that I'm approaching 50 and 25 years service so will soon be in a position to walk away. I do feel sorry for younger teachers.

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