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What are the advantages and disadvantages of Academy status for schools watch

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    The governors at my school are considering Academy status, and it's likely that they will go down that route. They have stated that the government is cutting funding for sixth formers, and as there are about 500 in my school, this would result in a large cut overall.

    Does anybody know what the advantages/disadvantages are of such a change? Has anybody experiences such a transition? Does the school have to change its name?

    Thanks
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    Pretty much all the teaching unions are against it, I think, but the government want schools to convert. At my school, I've only heard negative opinions from staff.

    My school's converting, and it seems like the main reason is money. Right now, every school contributes to a local fund which gives schools money when they need it- extra help for students, building works, etc. But academies get given all the money, and can choose how to spend it. At least, that's what I've been told. It could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your school's management :P

    The disadvantages are that the school can then decide how much teachers get paid, and I believe that they can also set their own admissions policies and curriculum. Again, this can be either good or bad, depending on the management.

    The school doesn't have to change it's name, but lots of schools in my area have done. They weren't good schools though, so I think they were trying to make a new start
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    (Original post by ZZ9)
    Pretty much all the teaching unions are against it, I think, but the government want schools to convert. At my school, I've only heard negative opinions from staff.

    My school's converting, and it seems like the main reason is money. Right now, every school contributes to a local fund which gives schools money when they need it- extra help for students, building works, etc. But academies get given all the money, and can choose how to spend it. At least, that's what I've been told. It could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your school's management :P

    The disadvantages are that the school can then decide how much teachers get paid, and I believe that they can also set their own admissions policies and curriculum. Again, this can be either good or bad, depending on the management.

    The school doesn't have to change it's name, but lots of schools in my area have done. They weren't good schools though, so I think they were trying to make a new start
    My school is currently voluntary aided (not a faith school), so can make many of its own decisions already. Furthermore, I believe it has a strong relationship with the local authorities, so I doubt it has problems with accessing funds.

    Why does the government want schools to convert to academies anyway?
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    My school converted just over a year ago now.

    Advantages: got funds to build new block and refurbish all of the old one.

    Disadvantages: don't get as much say in who they can let in (used to have to have an interview to get in, now you still have interview but it doesn't have any impact on their decision), you can already see the standards slipping as the years go down - everybody says the same, even some of the teachers. Also we had to all buy a whole new uniform just so we had 'academy' under the school logo :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by AmyLH)
    My school converted just over a year ago now.

    Advantages: got funds to build new block and refurbish all of the old one.

    Disadvantages: don't get as much say in who they can let in (used to have to have an interview to get in, now you still have interview but it doesn't have any impact on their decision), you can already see the standards slipping as the years go down - everybody says the same, even some of the teachers. Also we had to all buy a whole new uniform just so we had 'academy' under the school logo :rolleyes:
    Do you mean they have an interview at 11+? I thought that was against the government's guidelines for admissions.
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    My school swapped back when academies were for failing schools, two years ago.
    It was crap. They spent alot of money on a shiny new uniform that many people can't afford to buy (they only paid for the current students).
    A lot of teachers left because they were getting less and less say on what happened. The trio of schools was run by an outside executive, who never visited and seemed to know best for us, despite not being a qualified teacher D:
    Because it was outside of government control, they stopped alot of traditional courses and pushed everyone into B-tecs, equivalents, stopped teaching languages and history.
    We never got our promised rebuild either after the BSF scheme was scrapped :')
    All in all, it didn't go too well, but results shot up due to all the equivalents and not being allowed to take harder subjects.
    My current sixth form now are getting in early - our council have basically said they don't want any schools inside their control, so they're doing it now to avoid being taken over and having no choice in their partner.
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    (Original post by juliewho)
    My current sixth form now are getting in early - our council have basically said they don't want any schools inside their control, so they're doing it now to avoid being taken over and having no choice in their partner.
    Sorry, I don't follow. Can you clarify what you mean?
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    (Original post by und)
    Do you mean they have an interview at 11+? I thought that was against the government's guidelines for admissions.
    Yeah, both me and my brother had one and I've seen people waiting for them this year also
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    my old school changed to an academy. nothing changed but I do think there was more funding
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    (Original post by AmyLH)
    Yeah, both me and my brother had one and I've seen people waiting for them this year also
    My school only does them for Sixth Form applicants. I'm sure they would interview all candidates if they could, so it must be some sort of local law concerning admissions that forbids it. I would have hated to have been interviewed at that age.
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    my school changed this year, just after i left.
    its seen one of the best teachers in the school leave as he didnt agree in it being an academy.
    he belives schools should be about the pupils and not the money.

    its not changed its name, neither has it changed its uniform i dont think.
    from what iv heard from friends still there, especially lower school is that its rubbish.

    from the sounds of it my school has become more money orientated than what it already was, and its even more about what the school looks like than the pupils education...

    basically im glad i got out when i did. plus i wouldnt have been able to cope without that teacher, as he helped me get through so much! so id have been kicked out without a doubt as i still had issues!
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    (Original post by und)
    My school only does them for Sixth Form applicants. I'm sure they would interview all candidates if they could, so it must be some sort of local law concerning admissions that forbids it. I would have hated to have been interviewed at that age.
    It don't remember it to be too intensive. It was more like a chat about school really. Just things like what my favourite book was and what my favourite subjects were and why.
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    Three of our town's secondary schools were combined into one academy two years ago and so far it has been a bit of a train wreck. The 'consultation' was a sham so the local people didn't get a say in anything. There were protests and petitions against it but nobody listened. The pretext for creating the academy was to improve standards and replace the school buildings that were 'no longer fit for purpose'. All three of these buildings are still being used as schools in one form or another. The new build is in the pipeline now though. The results of the Academy last summer were far worse than the combined results of the three predecessor schools despite one of those schools being pretty terrible and another only just out of special measures. There were over 1000 exclusions ranging from half days to longer terms of exclusion in the first year alone. Lots of teachers jumped ship last year. Pupils of the academy complain that they are constantly stuck with supply teachers who don't really know what they are supposed to be doing as they are just thrown in the deep end. It's not gone very well so far . Here's hoping things get better...
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    (Original post by und)
    My school is currently voluntary aided (not a faith school), so can make many of its own decisions already. Furthermore, I believe it has a strong relationship with the local authorities, so I doubt it has problems with accessing funds.

    Why does the government want schools to convert to academies anyway?
    Bring them back under Whitehall Control. They've delegated authority to the LEA (and in doing so, the Teaching Unions) and they wish to re-cement their direct control over the education system. After all, before this, what could the Secretary of State for Education do in regards to schools without flexing any legislative muscle and without going through local authorities who may be from other parties and not particularly cooperative? Not passing moral judgement on it but this, to me, seems to be a key goal of the government with this legislation.
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    (Original post by PonchoKid)
    my school changed this year, just after i left.
    its seen one of the best teachers in the school leave as he didnt agree in it being an academy.
    he belives schools should be about the pupils and not the money.

    its not changed its name, neither has it changed its uniform i dont think.
    from what iv heard from friends still there, especially lower school is that its rubbish.

    from the sounds of it my school has become more money orientated than what it already was, and its even more about what the school looks like than the pupils education...

    basically im glad i got out when i did. plus i wouldnt have been able to cope without that teacher, as he helped me get through so much! so id have been kicked out without a doubt as i still had issues!
    I don't think my school would be too concerned about its image, as it's already oversubscribed with about ten applicants per place (it's a bit ridiculous), but it would worry me if it started to care more about money than its students.

    Would I be right in thinking that most schools that have converted were underperforming?
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    I thought the schools had to start by proving they had good academic standards, with the idea being that you could somehow create a state school of the quality of a private school.
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    My ex secondary school has converted to an academy (got outstanding on ofsted which probably doesn't mean that much considering private schools still do a million times better), and tbh I think they're doing it for the money. They get to pick whatever salaries they want to pay to their teachers. I mean come on - really?? I'm sure all schools are signing up now.
    Cameron needs to stop trying to privatise everything (and yes I know an academy is only a state run private school).
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    my school changed into an academy sometime after I started. it got more money and has expanded but they have less say on who they let in. my school was never selective in terms of academics but you used to have to fill out a big application form and go in and meet some staff then wait to see if you were accepted or not, which all happened earlier than the council form you would fill in if you wanted to go to other schools so you could still fill that in if you were unsuccessful. so as a result my school was a mix of abilities but was mostly filled with people with a good attitude and almost everyone achieved higher than the government targets based on their sats grades. the school had a VERY good reputation people would opt to go there instead of the local private schools and would be willing to travel quite far.
    since becoming an academy they have to accept people only from a much reduced catchment area and they had to automatically accept anyone who had a sibling attending as well as basically throw out their whole admissions process.

    many of the staff have said that once the last years from the original way of doing things are gone they will be looking to leave as they are expected to do a lot more work than all other local schools for pretty much the same pay but they were always willing to do so based on the more pleasant environment created by the system and as more and more year groups are added this new way they are less and less happy. the lower years are also not performing as well in end of year exams despite being of the same academic mix and the ones before them
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    My school gave me a letter about it today about them possibily converting to an academy. The teachers I've talked to seem to have a positive view of it, although I'd think it'd be a shame if standards started slipping because of it. My school has just been awarded outstanding by ofsted, the school runs countless clubs for every language, sport, hobby and loads of subject stuff. Plus after 7 years I've seen the change in the school and its gotten really good and the teachers are amazing and go to great lengths for us even though they don't have to. I'd hate for that all to change if they became an academy and the negatives that people have been posting do take effect.
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    (Original post by und)
    I don't think my school would be too concerned about its image, as it's already oversubscribed with about ten applicants per place (it's a bit ridiculous), but it would worry me if it started to care more about money than its students.

    Would I be right in thinking that most schools that have converted were underperforming?
    my school is one of the best in my area, has a massive catchment area as its such a good school, people will travel miles to go. one of my best mates travvled about 25 or 20 miles each way to go there...

    but even before it became an academy it was still massivly image concerened...
    we had an incident that got in the national papers, and 2 years later the head was STILL talking about it, and saying how things like that shouldnt happen...

    and its no way an under performing school, it even gets a few people applying to oxbridge...
 
 
 
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