Teachers worry about academy chain growth, Ofsted study finds

Teachers working for multi-academy trusts worry that the growth of their organisation will reduce their influence and make management more remote, an Ofsted study has found.

The research – which is yet to be published – also found that people in some schools feel a sense of “grief” and that they have been “emasculated” by a loss of autonomy, according to one of the researchers behind the work. 


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Pupils without 100% attendance sent to the back of the lunch queue

Pupils without 100 per cent attendance or a clean behaviour record are allegedly being forced to the back of the queue for lunch at a secondary school.

Immanuel College in Bradford, run by the Bradford Diocesan Academy Trust, introduced a new behaviour system in the summer term of last year, in which pupils begin each term with two badges – one for good behaviour, and one for 100 per cent attendance.

Pupils who misbehave or take time off can lose one or both of their badges. But this term the school introduced a new policy that gives lunchtime priority to those pupils who still have both badges, a concerned parent told Schools Week.

Pupils with two badges go for lunch first, followed by those who have lost their 100 per cent attendance badge, and then those who have lost their behaviour badge. Pupils who have had both badges removed eat last, it was claimed.

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Women earn 50p for £1 made by men at some multi-academy trusts

Women working in schools run by multi-academy trusts experience some of the most stark gender pay gaps in the UK, Guardian analysis has found.

Of the companies to have filed figures on their gender pay gaps to date, almost half of the worst 50 are multi-academy trusts (MATs). All of the 23 trusts had gaps greater than 50%, meaning on average women working in the schools were paid 50p for every £1 earned by a man.


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Academies ‘blackmail’ teachers to take worse pensions

Some academies are “blackmailing” teachers into opting out of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and joining schemes with worse benefits, a union leader has warned.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, said the issue had come to the fore since the government announced a large increase in employers’ pension contributions.

After being contacted by Tes, the DfE said it would contact the NASUWT to discuss the union’s concerns.


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Academy boss ‘ordered schools to cheat on Sats tests’

The BBC has uncovered evidence of organised cheating at primary schools run by the Silver Birch Academy Trust.

A former head says pupils at one school were given answers in Sats exams, taken by 11-year-olds in England.

Suzanne Barham has told BBC Panorama she was also ordered to change other test scores at three schools in 2017.

The trust will close this week due to financial issues and Silver Birch says the current trustees cannot be held responsible for its earlier actions.


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