Pupils ‘over aided’ in SATs exam by Harris Academy

We have been sent this by someone connected with Harris Academy Philip Lane (formerly known as Downhills) which became an academy because SATs were not good enough. Looks from this letter sent to parents, that Harris did improve results… by cheating!

Posted in Top story | Leave a comment

The worrying number of unqualified teachers in Birmingham schools

Unsurprisingly, teachers in schools outside local authority control were much more likely to be employing non-QTS teachers.

In LA maintained primary schools, 2.4% of teachers were unqualified (based on full-time equivalent roles), while it was 3.4% in converter academies, 5.6% in sponsor-led academies and 10.2% in free schools.

At secondary level, 4.2% of teachers in LA maintained schools did not have QTS, while it was 4.6% in converter academies, 8.6% in sponsor-led academies, 8.9% in free schools and 18.8% in UTC/Studio schools.


Posted in Top story | Leave a comment

Parents launch petition for ballot over academisation of seven primary schools in Deal

Parents fear a repeat of one school’s financial crisis could endanger the education offered at seven of Deal’s primary schools if they convert to academies.

A petition has been set up asking for a ballot amid concerns over the consultation to merge Sandown, Hornbeam, The Downs, Deal Parochial, Northbourne, Sholden, and Kingsdown and Ringwould into one large academy trust.

Campaign group Save Deal Schools is demanding that “each school runs a parent ballot, where parents are able to respond based on true and honest information.”


Posted in Top story | Leave a comment

It’s worse than Carillion: our outsourced schools are leaving parents frozen out

This is a story they don’t want you to know. Much of it had to be prised from the grip of officials in Whitehall and the local town hall. Yet it demands to be told, because it shows how democracy and accountability are being drained from our schools, and how a surreal battle now rages over who knows what’s best for a child: the parents and teachers, or remote officials and financiers.

The school in question is Waltham Holy Cross primary in Essex. Helping on a school run last week, I found an entire small world. It was the last day of term, and teachers joined hands to form a human arch. The bell rang and all those leaving to start secondary ran under their teachers’ arms. Parents whooped while staff hugged overwhelmed pupils. There was barely a dry eye in the playground.

More than a school, this is a community – yet officials judge it a failure.

Just days before last Christmas, when a classroom’s mind is normally on the nativity play, Ofsted inspectors dropped by. Three long months later, they damned Waltham Holy Cross as “inadequate”. In the Conservatives’ “all-out war” on mediocre education, that is all the excuse needed to take it off the local authority and turn it into an academy. A trust called Net Academies will soon turn it into a “model school”.


Posted in Top story | Leave a comment

Academy trusts’ growing debt brings total deficit to £65m

A growing number of academy trusts have fallen into debt – bringing their total deficit to £65m, government data shows.

Union leaders have warned the rise was another sign of the impact of government cuts to school funding.

The figures from the Department for Education show 6.1 per cent of academy chains had a cumulative deficit at the end of the academic year 2016-17, compared to 5.5 per cent in 2015-16.

The cumulative deficit of the 185 academy trusts was £65m, compared to £50m the year before.

The proportion of academies that are in trusts with a deficit stood at 4.3 per cent – a total of 300 academies, the report from the Department for Education (DfE) shows.


Posted in Top story | Leave a comment