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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:52 pm
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I have just recieved a letter from DD's Comprehensive school. Apparently at the end of last term (when the old Head left) the Board of Governors voted unanimously in favour of the school becoming an Academy. They are now going to 'consult' the parents but it sounds like a fait accompli to me. We already have an Academy in the town (the sink school revamped.)

What does a rather mediocre school (specialism Media Arts) have to gain from Academy status? Not sure I really want the Governing body to have more autonomy - that rather pre-supposes they're doing a good job - and I'm not so sure....


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:32 pm 
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DCs grammar converted recently. I think there are (short term) financial advantages to converting sooner rather than later, but I could be wrong about that. I think almost all the grammars in Bucks are now academies. It has made no difference to their school, but of course it could. The school should give you an opportunity to raise questions, but it does sound like a fait accompli.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:53 pm
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From a Govs point of view, having had to sit through all kinds of long & boring meetings about the pros & cons of becoming an academy, basically, its financial. And also having more autonomy not having to answer to the LEA.
In the grand scheme of things, it shouldn't make a great deal of difference to most schools. It seems Academy status is the way things are going, and some schools will be wanting to do it now on their own terms before they are forced to.
HTH


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:57 pm 
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I wonder if having more autonomy is the way a government can say it wasn't their fault that school collapsed as it was the decisions taken by the governors, guv'ner!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:00 pm 
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Location: caversham
DS1 and DS2 both go to very different Academies. :) Each school changed in the past year, and yes it was the politics and the finance.

Positives a bit more freedom and money, negatives the schools have to buy in (from LEA or elsewhere) or do in-house functions that previously came from the LEA.

Observed changes, less of the unnecessary parts of the national curriculum, in-house help closer to the needs at the schools, worry for the future the LEA has more resources when things go very bad.

But don't worry another change to the system will be along shortly, locally we are expecting a closed school to reopen as a free school and a new university technical college for ages 14-19, when what is needed is a new 11-19 school. :roll:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:03 pm 
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Well my rather limited research into the topic has led me to suspect that, where DD's school is concerned, the idea isn't a great one.

Apparently Academies have freedom to adapt the national curriculum - not sure I want that - school already manages to timetable in twice as much Food Tech and D&T as it's higher acheiving counterpart.
Powers to vary teachers' pay and conditions - smells like ending the right to strike to me.
Freedom to change the length of the school day/week/year - Local Academy tried to bring in compulsory Saturday school after the snow days last year - definitely not a possibility for DD who is at a local Music Centre 9-1 every Saturday.

Admittedly, I am an old cynic and if the Tories (or their coalition carbon copies) offered me a swimming pool of cash in my back garden I'd lock myself in the shed in case they tried to drown me in it - but I'm struggling to see the positives - except for the 'jump now or be pushed later' type.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:08 pm 
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There are two types of Academy
- 'old style' ie failing schools and
- 'new Govian style' these are mainly schools with large Sixth forms who are trying to minimise the impact of reductions in funding.

The problem is that's if you are not happy you have to go straight to Mr Gove to sort it out :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:11 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
There are two types of Academy
- 'old style' ie failing schools and
- 'new Govian style' these are mainly schools with large Sixth forms who are trying to minimise the impact of reductions in funding.

The problem is that's if you are not happy you have to go straight to Mr Gove to sort it out :lol:


That's what I thought - but, you see, St Scruff's isn't either of those. It is a mediocre 11-16.

And I don't want to go straight to Mr Gove - I haven't had my jabs.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:54 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:20 pm
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I think employees' pay, hours etc will be protected under a law called TUPE when transferring to an academy. I suspect, however, that academies may put pressure on staff to change these terms and conditions at a later stage.

I think academies will be the way forward for many schools and if anyone has experienced changes (either as a member of staff or parent) it would be good to hear the 'fors' and 'againsts'.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:57 pm 
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There's at least one 'Govian' Academy I know where all the teachers are having to teach an extra lesson every week this year - they are not happy!


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