After almost 20 years since their introduction, we take a look at how academies have changed the landscape of UK education. Brian Crosby, CEO of an academy chain in York, outlines the advantages of school academies while Simon O’Hara from the Anti-Academies Alliance discusses the potential dangers as new research reveals that a third of UK parents would remove their child from school if it converted into an academy…
The academisation of schools has been one of the most contentious issues in British education ever since the policy’s inception in 2000.
Following The Labour Party’s reported shift to a more hard-line policy on schools, and subsequent pledge to scrap the current academies system – where institutions operate outside of local authority networks and are increasingly grouped together in trusts – an education recruiter has warned of the risk of intensifying existing teacher shortages.
Currently 66% of secondary schools and 29% of primaries operate as Academies, with more than 1,000 more conversions in the pipeline.
The majority of teachers in England are unsure of the benefits of working for a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) and two thirds would choose a role in a standalone school over a job working within a MAT. Nearly two thirds (63%) of teachers have no understanding of how working for a MAT differs from teaching in a normal school, and even teachers that are already working within a MAT are unsure of the advantages it brings (54%).
A total of 2.16 million days were lost due to teacher sickness absence in 2015/16 according to the latest statistics from the Department of Education[
Amanda Webb, Strategic Relationship Director (Education) from Affinity Workforce, talks to QA Education about the skills shortage within teaching and how to get a better visibility and understanding of staff:
Seven out of ten academies are operating with accounting losses, as budgets are being squeezed and schools seek to find cost savings, according to an independent survey of academies.
FOUR academies on the Salisbury Plain have taken delivery of their very own magazine.
Bett Academies, a new event developed in consultation with senior education leaders in the UK, launches this week to provide advice, guidance and inspiration to academies, MATs and schools exploring academisation. The event takes place from 16 to 17 March at the NEC in Birmingham.
Limited (LWA) writes below, there is a huge amount of responsibility in terms of financial, auditing and reporting issues which many Academies find overwhelming. This is why LWA provides specialist advice to the education sector and have the expertise to help with conversion issues such as:
✓ Selection of an accounting package
✓ Creditor payment processes
✓ Staff training
✓ Payroll services
✓ Valuation of transferred assets
✓ Pension issues
✓ Returns to the Education Funding Agency and Department for Education
As the debate about state schools becoming academies continues to hit the headlines, Managing Director of Wheatley Facilities Management, Andrew Wheatley, explains why the challenges ahead make this situation far more than a playground battle.
Comments Wheatley: “As is often the case in these situations, the debate has focused on the obvious differences in the way that a council run school and an academy are funded and managed, but not all of the details have been considered.