Notts Anti Academies Alliance

Notts Anti Academies Alliance actively campaigns against the privatisation of our schools.

website http://nottsantiacademies.org.uk/

Contact us at browtowe@antiacademies.org.uk or like us on Facebook

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Briefing for Governors and Head teachers

Head teachers and Governors are coming under considerable pressure to convert to Academy status.

This Briefing looks at some of the main questions that need to be considered before a school decides to embark on the road to becoming an academy.

Contents

  • Funding
  • The financial impact of leaving the Local Authority
  • Relations with the Local Authority
  • To raise attainment and close the attainment gap?
  • More Autonomy over the curriculum?
  • Freedom to Control admissions?
  • Freedom from National agreements on pay and conditions?
  • To increase Collaboration with other schools?
  • To fulfil the pledge of the ‘Big Society’ which gives power back to the people?
  • Are Academies ‘proven to succeed’?
  • Privatisation – plain and simple
  • Consultation
  • Questions for Governors regarding academy proposals
  • If we don’t convert now, will we be left behind?
  • We can help

Click here to download

Last updated 26th January 2012 following the release of the GCSE results for 2011

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What should Governors and Headteachers do if they are considering becoming an academy?

The laws requires very little consultation. This is being disputed and there are a number of legal challenges going through the courts contesting minimal consultations. At least one school has had to re-run their academy consultation after recognising they would lose in court (William Tyndale School backs down over academy bid in face of court threat ).

Given that Headteachers and Governors want the best for their school it is reasonable to assume that they should want to hear the opinions of their parents, pupils and staff, and that their parents, pupils and staff are properly informed. Too often there is a minimal consultation with parents, pupils and staff given little, and one sided, information, and no real opportunity to express an opinion.

We would propose to any school that is considering becoming an academy that they follow a democratic and open consultation process.

This would include the following:

  • Before Governors decide to investigate becoming an academy to invite both proponents and opponents to present their views to a Governors meeting.
  • If the Governors decide to pursue academy status a democratic consultation should be held:
  1. A parents meeting should be held at a convenient and well publicised time (more than one if necessary). Speakers for and against should be present. It may be useful to hold an indicative ballot to assess the mood of those who have attended and heard the debate.
  2. Literature both for and against should be circulated to every parent.
  3. A secret ballot of parents, pupils and staff should be held with a clear question on the ballot.
  4. If Governors want their decision to be respected then they should respect the vote, and abide by it.

 

While we would not consider any process other than the above to be democratic there are some obvious requirements for a process to have any pretence of democracy :

  • There should be sufficient notice for any parents meeting
  • Campaigners should not be obstructed from distributing alternative viewpoints
  • A consultation form should have a Yes / No response, not simply ask for comments
  • Governors should release the result of any vote
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Kingswinford strike against academy proposal

Teachers in the NASUWT and NUT struck at Kingswinford School, Dudley, on Tuesday 18th October.

50 people joined the picket line before marching around the school.

Further action is under discussion.

Messages of support to nut@dudley.gov.uk / martin.lynchmjl@gmail.com

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Running international private schools is a lucrative business. Now they have their eye on free schools in England.

Running international private schools is a lucrative business. Now they have their eye on free schools in England.

 

Market size is predicted to nearly double by 2021. The number of international schools is forecast to reach 10,615 in 2021 from just over 5,800 now. Student number are expected to reach 5.2m from 2.8m and staff to just under half a million from 272,000 in 2011. Fee income, thought to be just under $27b in 2011, is set to rise to $49b in 2020, on a current fees basis.

 

The Third International Business Forum for International and Private Schools takes place in London on 23-24 November 2011. The main theme is ‘How do you successfully develop your school brand overseas?’ Speakers include Ralph Tabberer, who was the Director General of Schools in the Department for Children, Schools and Families until March 2009 before going through the revolving door into the private sector, becoming Chief Schools Officer at GEMS Education, based in Dubai. GEMS runs dozens of private schools around the world, including 10 in England. Also speaking are Andrew Fitzmaurice, the Chief Executive of Nord Anglia Education, heavily involved in edubusiness in England, and Steve Bolingbroke of Kunskapsskolan, the Swedish for-profit free school chain now operating in England.

 

Of course developing your brand can be tricky, as no doubt Alistair Bond Headmaster, The British School, Tripoli, Libya, will explain in his talk on ‘Civil unrest – the experience’. How much safer to do it in England. The most interesting thing about the conference is that one session is entitled ‘The trials and frustrations of early entry into the Free Schools market’. The speaker is James Croft Director, the Centre for Market Reform of Education. He is the author of a report published earlier this year by the Adam Smith Institute called Profit-making free schools.

 

In short, the for-profit international schools companies are examining the opportunity for making profits from Gove’s publicly-funded free schools.

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