School academisation: If it isn’t broken, why fix it?

The struggle of Catholic schools in the diocese of Brentwood (East London and Essex) to resist plans to academise continues to gather strength.

Last year, parents at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary school in Wanstead struggled to get what they regarded as a proper consultation on the question of academisation. The dispute ended when the parents had to abandon their legal challenge due to prohibitive cost.

So Our Lady of Lourdes joined St Peter and Pauls’ in Ilford, St Joseph’s in Barking, St Joseph’s and St Teresa’s in Dagenham in the first round of schools to join the Good Shepherd Trust. Palmer Catholic Academy and St Aidan’s Catholic Academy were already members.

Meanwhile, resistance has stiffened. In Newham, St Angela’s has abandoned plans to become an academy after teachers went on strike. Staff at St Michael’s in East Ham held a strike last week over plans to academise.

In Redbridge, parents at St Bede’s are gearing up to oppose plans for their school to academise. There is also resistance at St Augustine’s in Barkingside and St Anthony’s in Woodford.

https://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/18194707.school-academisation-isnt-broken-fix/

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CEO pay in the spotlight again as academy boss gets £60k rise

An academy trust ordered to justify its pay by the government handed its chief executive a £60,000 pay rise last year, as salaries for bosses of larger trusts start to rise again.

The total pay of Paul West, chief executive of the Spencer Academies Trust, which runs 20 schools in the East Midlands, rose from at least £155,000 to at least £215,000 last year.

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Is Ofsted being political over off-rolling decisions?

A teaching union leader has questioned whether Ofsted is reluctant to call out off-rolling in schools run by multi-academy trusts that are close to the government because it is too “politically uncomfortable”.

Mary Bousted, the NEU teaching union’s joint general secretary, is concerned about why Ofsted is identifying the seemingly identical cases involving the removal of students in Year 11 as off-rolling in some schools, but not in others.

https://www.tes.com/news/ofsted-being-political-over-rolling-decisions

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Pay restraint over for leaders of large academy trusts

Chief executives and heads in large multi-academy trusts have seen major increases in their salary despite government attempts to curb top executive pay, according to a new report. 

The Kreston Academies Benchmark report reveals that the average salary for leaders of the largest trusts has increased from £115,952 in 2018 to £142,467 last year.

https://www.tes.com/news/pay-restraint-over-leaders-large-academy-trusts

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Most academy trusts expect to be in the red by 2022

More than half of academy trusts expect to be running a deficit by 2022, according to a major new study into their finances.

The annual Kreston Academies Benchmark report also reveals that nearly half of all multi-academy trusts (44 per cent) have at least one school in their group that is struggling financially.

And it warns that these “problem schools” can have a significant impact on their trusts which have on average £51,000 less left over at the end of the academic year than other trusts.

https://www.tes.com/news/most-academy-trusts-expect-be-red-2022

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