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 Post subject: Pates - Academy Status
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 11:55 am 
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Location: Gloucestershire
I see that the latest Pates newsletter states that they are expecting pre-approval to change to Academy Status from this September.

What impact will this have on the school?


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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 4:17 pm 
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/10149009.stm I see this article on BBCNews website is highlighting academy status.
Basically schools which are assessed as outstanding will be able to switch to academy status and opt out of the local authority. I wonder what happens then? Not all schools stay 'outstanding' when there is a change of management for example.

By taking academy status, schools will receive their funding directly from central government and will have greater autonomy over how they are run. If the school has an 'outstanding' already they are kind of 'pre approved' if they do not then they have to apply for academy status.

I believe the biggest attraction is more freedom over the curriculum and the funding. Not sure what Pates will gain from it. Perhaps I will ask the head on New Parents evening?...might be a nice little intro to a new 'problem parent' :wink: :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:26 pm 
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Just as an update. The BBCNews has published a list of school who have applied for academy status. See here

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/10413492.stm

I note none of the girls grammars


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:04 pm 
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I also note that the Association of Grammar Schools (or something like that) are urging extreme caution to schools on this matter. If they become an Acadamy, they may loose the protection that grammars have regarding local parents voting to abolish the selective status!

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:35 pm 
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Capers
Quote:
they may loose the protection that grammars have regarding local parents voting to abolish the selective status!


Sorry Capers, could you please explain what this means? I could not understand.

Thanks :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:48 pm 
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Currently local parents can get together and have a ballot as to whether the local system should stay selective. The only time this happened was in Ripon when the result was in favour of continuing selection.
The problems are deciding who can vote... usually parents at feeder schools who send a certain number of kids each year (including private schools) ... however there are some primaries that rarely get any kids in so can be excluded from the vote,


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:06 pm 
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I have looked into this and it is tosh!
At the moment a GS can lose its selective status in four ways -
1) the Government just makes it happen (they can do anything really),
2) the governors make it happen (it requires no parental vote just 'consultation') and
3) local disgruntled parents and anti grammar campaigners can force a 'ballot' to end selection if they get enough signatures.
4) The LA 're-organises' and forces closure or merger

This third threat was brought in by Blair to appease the Labour Party who wanted to end selection - it was a way of him sayimg 'selection can end wherever parents vote for it' - it has only ever been used once, in Ripon, it failed and that was before the beginning of teh century anyway. All rather irelevant really!

If a school becomes an Academy then the first two still apply (though Grammar School Governors tend to be in favour of Grammar Schools!) and the third and fourth threats disappear!

I note that the Head of Pate's and (I think) the Head of Crypt) lead a group of Grammar School Heads across the country where their website is pretty pro Grammar Schools being and Academy whereas the group 'warning of this threat' seem to have come from nowhere and to have completely misunderstood the law!
If Academy status really does bring in a whole pile of cash for a few years then I suspect that most schools will go for it eventually.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:37 pm 
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gloucsdad wrote:
If Academy status really does bring in a whole pile of cash for a few years then I suspect that most schools will go for it eventually.


It will bring in loads of cash, but at the same time, loads of bills for the admin currently done by Shire Hall. I'm not an expert on school funding, but what about the likes of Hucclecote Centre, where teachers get extra in-service training? I'm sure the schools have to pay for the courses, but I doubt if it makes a profit. Then what about unified admissions service? Who will run the system of 4 preferences, where the top effective choice is allocated? If all the schools are their own admissions authorities with no LEA input, some children will be offered places from several schools, which will in turn increase the number of children with no place at all!

I'm a little worried about it.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:06 pm 
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The head from Pates spoke briefly about the admissions/selection issue on the parents evening recently. I am fairly sure he said that the selection would not change. It would still be run by Shire Hall and would follow the same format as it has in previous years. I don't know if he meant just for this year or if he meant for the foreseeable future.

Anyone else remember words to this effect or was I only hearing what I wanted to hear? :?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:19 pm 
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This year's (for entry Sept 2011) selection process is set in stone. However, there is talk (in our school playground anyway) that the entrance exam will change to include VR, NVR, English and Maths for entry in September 2012.


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