Tuesday 20 September 2011

Questions for Governors regarding Academy proposals

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This is a list of questions that were recently asked at a Governors meeting. Please consider which questions are most appropriate for you own circumstances.

Questions recently asked at a Governors Meeting

What happens because we are a PFI school – who bears the long term risk for this?

What happens if we stay with the local authority but it stops providing any support services?

Can we be forced to become an academy e.g. if we were one of a handful of schools that hadn’t done it yet?

Looking at  the  LACSEG money : what it covers and additional costs to the school.

How much is this going to be?

Can we identify the functions that the school will take over from the LA?

what will be the cost of these functions both as to additional use of internal resources (staffing costs, accommodation etc) and the cost of provision from external sources such as the LA or other providers.

what additional skills will the school need: do we have them already? If so ,identify staff. Is there a need to recruit? (e.g., secretary to the company role)

there will be a number of non-recurring, one off, exceptional and unpredictable costs such as;

certain redundancy,early retirement or other employment termination costs

exclusion appeal costs

admission appeal costs

pay and condition change consultation costs

health and safety one offs

advice on governors’ personal liability etc

contractual disputes with suppliers

no doubt there are others

Do we have a robust system in place to provide adequately for these costs?

 

The here and now. Based on our current team of head, staff, governors and current government policy

what do we gain from moving to academy status from the point of view of say the Head. I ask because the school is improving, our latest results show a massive move in the right direction. If we can do that as we are now – how will the change make a difference? Is it finance, freedom to make decision etc etc

The legacy of changing to an academy

4 years or 5 years down the road our decision may not look so good and how can we ensure the legacy we pass on is in the best interests of the school and the local community it serves. Here are some of my concerns:

Could a sponsor become involved and take control of the board of governors? And could they change the policy of the school? For good or ill.

Could there be a change in selection policy so that the school chooses the pupils rather than the parents/pupils choosing the school?

Will future Government policy changes mean that as an example the school could elect to teach creationism. ( Currently Gove says guidelines mean no school can).

Could a sponsor appoint their own choice of governors  rather than parent governors – and parents have less say in the school running?

How do we ensure SEN stays strong if in the future it is seen a cost and Government policy allows de-selection by such criteria?

 

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