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 Post subject: Academy status for HSFG
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:32 pm 
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We have had the letter about Academy Status but is there anything to be concerned about with this? Or does it really not make much difference. I have read a little bit but I am not really sure what to make of it yet. Tommie's is an academy isn't it or am I wrong on that one?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:10 pm 
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I think Tommy's and Pate's both are. What difference it's going to make, I don't know...


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:07 pm 
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Location: Gloucester
Yes Tommies and Pates both already have Academy status-Crypt are in the process of applying.
I don't think that it will make a big difference to the pupils and parents-but the schools like the fact they feel it gives them more freedom over the curriculum and also potentially more funding(althought this remains to be seen!!!)

GM


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:06 pm 
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Tommies did get the extra funding. A small portion of it had to be used for raised costs on some services due to having to buy them in independantly.

My opinon is that those schools that get in first will continue to get their extra funding. I think there is a big push for all schools to go down this route eventually, the goal posts are lowering all the time and the only schools that can't at the moment are those deemed plain old 'good'. Wouldn't be the least surprised if ultimatelly all schools will probably have to do it without the extra funding which will have dried up.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:55 pm 
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Location: Gloucester
I think "good" schools can apply for academy status now too!

Academy schools do indeed get extra funding-whether this will be extra after all the other costs incurred from having to buy in the services that the LA previously provided remains to be seen :wink:

Gloucestershire schools are having cuts to their budgets for 2011-12,whether academy schools will mean a two tier education system with regards to funding levels is also up for debate! Watch this space...

GM


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:42 am 
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The last I heard it had been extended to good schools with outstanding features so many good schools, our local primary included, wouldn't be able to go for it. Satisfactory schools can as long as they get backing from an outstanding school to support them.

It was the expected cuts that pushed the Tommies head into going for academy status so that they could maintain the status quo despite funding cuts. The school has a high staff to pupil ratio I believe and want it to stay that way. They did get the promised £300,000 and although they are incurring extra costs in some areas due to their new status they are still in a position to absorb the cuts that are coming in without cutting staff.

At a meeting I attended I got the distinct impression that the LEA are having to encourage Academy status. With their own staffing structure taking a hit they will not be able to run the way they used to. IMHO they will then become a provider service for schools and will have to compete with the private sector for those services. It will be interesting to see what does happen.

There is also a move to encourage schools to federate putting them in a stronger position to buy in services at a cheaper rate and this would put smaller primaries in a position to take up Academy status.

One of the things that Mr Kelly mentioned was that the Tommies governing body has about three accountants on it and this was a comforting factor in the whole process. Not all schools will have such a well qualified governing body and this will be where the two tier system really kicks in. It reminds me of the situation you get with Parent Associations'. The wealthy leafy suburbs having thousands in their funds the poor inner cities lucky if they manage to raise a couple of hundred quid in a year.

It seems to me that governors are going to have a pretty hefty responsiblity considering they are all volunteers but David Cameron with his talk of a 'big society' won't see that as a problem.

So welcome back to the world of 'Grant maintained' then :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:06 am 
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My worry would be that once school's have to buy in services - eg special needs support, they just might not because of the cost and children will miss out. The LA provide a great deal of expertise, my sister actually does this and those jobs are going so there is a cutback in that support as it is - it will be very thinly spread. If cost for individual schools comes into it they might decide that they can manage without which might not be in the children's best interest.

Parents are just going to be asked to put their hands in their pockets even more than we are now and I already find the "voluntary contributions" and trips hard enough and I have to say no to all the very expensive ski trips etc.

How do school staff feel about the change to academy status? Is it less secure or is there more scope to enjoy your job? I would be interested to know.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:24 pm 
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Schools kind of already buy in these services and the special needs budgets are usually ring fenced in some way. It is an area that inspections closely monitor. If however OFSTED gets dumbed down anymore than it already is then you are right to worry.

If I get into a discussion on voluntary contributions then I will turn into some sort of spitting monster type thing :evil: as it is a huge bug bear of mine, best not go there.

I suppose if staff get to keep their jobs through it then it is good but as to job satisfaction who knows. Mr Kelly said he intended to run things pretty much along the lines he already does. It does give heads more power to impliment the sort of initatives that private schools do which could be good or bad. As GM says time will tell on that score. I believe there is a teacher who sometimes posts on this ssection so perhaps we will get to hear from the horses mouth how it is going.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:37 pm 
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Location: Gloucester
I think teachers' main concerns will be that academies can deviate from nationally agreed terms and conditions-the NUT are definitely against academies for this reason!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:58 pm 
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Interesting and valid point as there is strong incentive for private schools to maintain quality of staff to keep their clientele happy and with quality comes cost.

Playing devils advocate the reason I gave up the profession was because of the rigid pay scale rules. Once you are top of the scale no school wants you. It stops teachers moving freely between schools and if I did you relocate then bad luck. Also it is one of the reasons many teachers go back to work at least part time after having a baby, they now if they give up a perminant contract the chances of another are pretty slim unless they are prepared to take on extra responsibility which many in that situation don't want to do.


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