Academy status - what would it mean for my child's school?

If you are consulted about your child's school becoming an academy, you may only have a few days to act - a decision may already have been taken by the Governors.
  • Academies will be independent of local authority control. 
If something goes wrong, who would help?  Who would you rather deal with – your local authority or Whitehall?
  • Ofsted would be the only body monitoring standards
What if the school goes down hill before inspection?  A school in Sandwell was "outstanding" but 3 years after becoming an academy went into special measures.  This could happen to any school but, for an academy, remoteness from Whitehall means that early intervention is unlikely.  The new Chief Inspector of Schools, himself an ex head of an academy, warns that action should be taken on failing academies (so far very little has happened).  Read Article
  • Teachers could be made to work longer hours. 
Although TUPE applies to staff transferring over, teachers are not protected if they apply for promotion or a restructuring takes place.   
  • If you have another child at a different schools their term dates could differ.
  • The School will have to buy in the support and services currently provided by Wandsworth.
This may actually cost more than the amount Wandsworth receives for those services and add to the costs of others schools as well.  Far from the amounts quoted by the Government, Wandsworth retains 1.5% for primary school services and 3.4% for secondary schools.  For information on the sort of services supplied by a local authority see the "Hampshire letter" in References
A request for information from Suffolk schools converted to academies indicated that schools will have to pay between 2 and 4 times as much for some services, eg. insurance.
  • All of this may be worth it if educational standards improved  Will they?