The Academies Programme Bill Watkin
Academies Billm:07834 36 77 46 e:firstname.lastname@example.org
SSAT: key features and characteristics • Independent • Not for profit • A membership organisation by schools for schools • Bespoke • The academies team at the SSAT • ONE strategy for school improvement • Conversion support • Position of neutrality
What is an academy now? • Sponsored • Converter • Secondary, primary, special • UTCs • Studio Schools • Free schools
What is a Sponsored Academy? The intervention strategy of choice • usually in areas of high deprivation • usually replacing failing schools • independent, state-funded schools • Sponsors • new leadership • new governance • new legal status • new name • new uniform • new building • Raising standards • Partnerships • Community impact
Is the Academies Programme working? Evidence points to a positive impact: • Raising aspirations • Social mobility • Widening participation • Use non-traditional methodologies • Address the lack of basic skills • Improved behaviour • Improved attendance • Engage parents and other community partners • Address underachievement, confidence and attitudes • Examination performance . . .
Ofsted Across the schools sector the number of inspections this year resulting in an inadequate rating has doubled (Ofsted, 2010) But, NOT academies • Academies: 26% rated outstanding(all schools: 13 %) • % of academies judged outstanding has increased • % of academies judged inadequate has decreased (despite the more demanding inspection framework)
It’s not all about . . . • Sponsor influence • Intake profile • Buildings • Terms of employment • Financial advantage • Local accountability
Primary • Secondary • Special What is the future of the Converter Academy? Every school can become an Academy and strong performers work in partnership with others to raise standards. • Primary and secondary schools rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted • ‘Good with Outstanding Features’ • Primary and secondary schools could apply with other schools as part of a formal partnership, providing at least one is rated ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Good with Outstanding Features’ or they join a successful existing Academy Trust • special schools rated ‘Outstanding’ from September 2011 • all schools, depending on: • Exam performance over last three years • Comparison with local and national performance • Latest Ofsted findings re ‘capacity to improve’, ‘outcomes’ and ‘leadership’ • Any other matters that the school may rely on to demonstrate that it is performing well
Converter • HT and GB choice • Successful • Fast track, pre-approval • No closure; change of status • No Sponsor(s) required • No capital plans • YPLA monitoring • No financial (dis)advantage • No Principal recruitment • Named adviser (DfE) / ALO (YPLA) • Work with another school Sponsored or converter? Sponsored • No choice • Low results • Closure of predecessor school • Sponsor(s) • Project Management Company • Feasibility & Implementation Phases • Pre-opening Ofsted • Section 8 Inspection: Term 5 • Egg sign-off / Readiness to open • Start up funding • Principal recruitment • Education adviser (DfE) / ALO (YPLA) • New build . . . ?
Headline freedoms • freedom from local authority control • ability to set pay and conditions for staff • freedom from following the National Curriculum • ability to change the lengths of terms and school days • Freedom to deploy the LACSEG
A sobering thoughtWith great freedoms come great responsibilities
An agreement in principle . . . • Skills and capacity • Nuanced matching • Resource • Accountability
The impact of current policy on . . . • Converter academies • Sponsored academies • Local Authorities • Schools that do not convert
Should we become an academy? 3 key questions: • Will it benefit the children in our school now and into the future? • Will it enhance the educational provision in our community? • Will it help us to become / stay Outstanding?
Academies receive the same funding as maintained schools with the additional funding for services that their local authority would have provided. Academies have to comply with the Admissions, exclusions and SEN laws and relevant codes, like all maintained schools. Academies must teach a broad and balanced curriculum including English, Maths and Science Academy staff are employed by the Academy Trust. National terms and conditions do not have to be applied but TUPE does apply to predecessor school staff transferring. Academies – Key Features
Academies are run by the Academy Trust which are subject to company and charitable law Academy Trust does not ‘own’ the school nor can it profit from the Academy. Academy Trustees have a legal duty to act in the interests of the Academy The freedoms, rights and responsibilities of the Trust are set out in a Funding Agreement with the Secretary of State Ofsted inspections are carried out on the same basis as all other state funded schools The Young People’s Learning Agency (YPLA) is responsible for funding and working with open Academies Academies – accountability
Options for Collaboration Option 1 • each school converts and has its own academy trust • each academy shares resources and expertise Option 2 • each school converts and has its own academy trust • all academies collaborate • umbrella trust - ‘joint committee’ and services provider Option 3 • federated academy trust
Governance – Governors (1) Manage the school on behalf of the Academy Trust Key governor responsibilities: Ensure the quality of educational provision Challenge and monitor the performance of the Academy Manage the academy finances, property and staff Comply with charity and company law Comply with Funding Agreement
Governance – Governors (2) DFE policy is minimum of: Principal Two parent governors One governor appointed by the members Other categories of governors are optional, but subject to restrictions:- LA – maximum of one Staff – maximum of one third of total governing body, including the principal Co-opted –maximum of three
3 final thoughts MotiveFreedoms and responsibilitiesCharacter