conversion to becoming a “sponsored academy” – what does it mean?

http://davidwolfe.org.uk/wordpress/archives/1423

Re-blogged from the above link one of the perceived benefits of becoming an Academy …

‘freedoms’

And what is still termed the ‘governing body’ is simply the local committee to which the trust board may (or may not) allow some freedoms.

And so it is a complete nonsense to say that the school has gained freedoms.

It has, in law, ceased to exist as a separate legal entity – it is now under the total control of the trust. It has no freedom at all because it does not exist to have freedom!

The governing body (or head teacher) will only (say) be able to decide which cleaning company, coach company or builders to engage if the trust gives it/them that ‘freedom’.

Likewise, it can only set its own (say) uniform policy or even make its own curriculum decisions within the limits set by the trust.

To many, that will look like a dramatic loss of freedom.

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Differences in Accountability

Free Schools Academies Maintained Independent
Reporting Requirements Analysis and monitoring performed by DfE and Ofsted Monitored by YPLA Monitored and analysed by LA and Ofsted (with some DfE requirements too) No public reporting requirements
Public Transparency All results made publicly available All results made publicly available All results made publicly available Ofsted reports publicly available (most also publish exam results)

Source: http://www.newschoolsnetwork.org

Differences in Governance

Free Schools Academies Maintained Independent
Ownership of Physical Assets Charitable trusts (must be non-profits, but within that could include charities, parent/teacher groups, universities,etc) Charitable trusts LA for community schools. Other types, the land and buildings may be owned by a
charity, religious group or governing body.
Private. Usually, but not always, a trust
Decision-making & Fiscal responsibility Trustees/Governing body Trustees/Governing body Governing body (and LA) School Governors/Trustees
Involvement of private sector Able to subcontract elements of the running and management of the school to other private sector organisations Able to subcontract elements of the running and management of the school to other private sector organisations. Able to subcontract elements of the running and management of the school to other private sector organisations Can be fully or partially privately operated.

Source: http://www.newschoolsnetwork.org

Steve McCabe is listening to St Josephs Parents

Steve McCabe has responded to us on twitter 🙂 

If you are concerned about the process of converting St Josephs Catholic Primary School to a Multi Academy please send him an email or contact him on details below.

Contact details

Parliamentary

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 3509
Fax: 020 7219 0367
mccabes@parliament.uk

stephen.mccabe.mp@parliament.uk

Constituency

No constituency office publicised
Tel: 0121 443 3878
Fax: 0121 441 4779

Web & Social media

Differences in Staff Management

Free Schools Academies Maintained Independent
Teacher Selection Criteria Not required to have teachers with QTS (except SENCO) but are required to have a training and development plan. QTS required. QTS required. No QTS required.
Adding Non-Teaching positions Free to hire as required. Free to hire as required. Depends on School type. Free to hire as required.
Performance Incentives Free to set own pay and conditions. Free to set own pay and conditions. Follow national pay and conditions. Free to set own pay and conditions.
Performance management Free to evaluate and manage performance as required. Inspected by Ofsted and must fill conditions of Free to evaluate and manage performance as required (subject to TUPE restrictions) Performed by LA. Free to evaluate and manage performance as required.

Source: http://www.newschoolsnetwork.org

Open Letter to IEB

23rd June 2014

Dear Interim Executive Board,

We are writing to you on behalf of the Ask St Joseph’s Parents group. We are a parent led community group, who believe that parents at St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School have not been adequately informed and consulted about the proposed conversion to Academy status as part of a Multi Academy Company. In recent days the group has established an online petition demanding an open and democratic consultation based on full and unbiased information, a public meeting with speakers for and against and a community vote. To date, in excess of 50 people have signed the petition and this is growing daily. You can view the online petition via http://www.askstjosephsparents.wordpress.com.

A ‘consultation’ meeting was held at the school on April 23rd 2013 by the former Head Teacher and Governing Body. The meeting failed to adequately inform parents about, explain or evidence, the arguments for MAC conversion. Consideration of the potential adverse impacts of MAC conversion was omitted. We therefore question whether St. Joseph’s met its obligatory responsibility (as detailed by the DfE) to adequately inform and consult with stakeholders.

Following the meeting, the Head Teacher and the Governing Body voted to proceed with MAC conversion. Within weeks the school was placed in special measures by OFSTED and the school’s leadership and management were judged inadequate. The school now finds itself in a very different position.
Ask St Joseph’s Parents believe that changes should only be made after a full and open dialogue with all interested parties and urge the school to:

  • Hold an urgent public meeting for parents and members of the Parish and local community to hear arguments for and against conversion, where stakeholders can ask questions about the proposal and expect to have these answered.
  •  Provide parents and stakeholders with full details of what steps have already been taken in the conversion process, including when the DfE conversion grant was applied for and the proposed conversion date.
  •  Hold an urgent full and meaningful consultation process, at the end of which a ballot of parents is held to approve or reject the proposal.
  •  Provide parents and other stakeholders with a full consultation document, in advance of a public meeting, detailing the educational and financial justifications and a full impact assessment of how academy status will affect different groups of pupils.
  • With 2 out of the 6 schools now in Special Measures, provide detailed information about the strategies and potential impacts for the MAC.
  • Give an undertaking that St Joseph’s conversion will not proceed any further until an open and democratic consultation based on full and unbiased information, a public meeting with speakers for and against and a community vote have informed the process.

We look forward to an urgent written response within 7 working days to the group and the wider parent body.

Yours faithfully

Ask St Joseph’s Parents

CC: Head Teacher
Diocesan Education Service
MAC Partnership Manager

Differences in Finance

Free Schools Academies Maintained Independent
Source of revenue and disbursement Public – Funding disbursed directly by formula calculated by the DfE. Funding varies between LAs. Public – Funding disbursed directly by formula calculated by the DfE. Funding varies between LAs. Often have additional funding from the academy sponsor. Public – Funding disbursed by LA Private: Fees and bequests – no public funds committed
Revenue per pupil Comparable to state schools in the local area. Comparable to state schools in the local area. Varies significantly by Local Authority. Variable – dependent on level of fees charged
Allocation Schools have full flexibility to allocate funds as deemed fit, including services normally provided by LA Schools have full flexibility to allocate funds as deemed fit, including services normally provided by LA Schools free to allocate all funds received but LA keeps a proportion back for ‘central services’ Schools have full flexibility to allocate funds as deemed fit

Source: http://www.newschoolsnetwork.org