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New Academies

From Sue McMahon

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Do the community really want a maintained community primary school — Scout Road — to become an independent academy?

The Bill with over 160 clauses is being rushed through, it will have major implications for schools in Calderdale and the service that Calderdale LA provides to all schools.

Calderdale LA — like every other — does not control schools, cutting yourself off from the support they give is short sighted. Any school becoming an academy under the bill will receive no crock of gold, and will have to lease the land and buildings from the owner. The £25K on offer from the government will leave little change after paying legal costs.

The school will also have to support a ‘weaker’ school dictated to by Government and not necessarily in Calderdale! This is the privitisation of schools through the front door, the back door has now been firmly shut.

Parents will not be queuing up to send their children to an academy but rather opting to take them out.

From Darius Battiwalla

Thursday, 24 June 2010 2010

Also, these proposals have nothing to do with empowering parents. Parents at Academies have no automatic right to see the proceedings of the governing bodies, as they’re exempt from the freedom of information Act.

As the governors at Scout Road have taken things this far without consulting parents (and have given no indication that they’ll take their views into account in deciding whether to proceed or not) it doesn’t bode well for the future.

As a parent at Scout Road, I can’t believe that the governors need to take such a drastic and divisive step in order to improve the school.

From Sue McMahon

Friday, 9 July 2010

Those concerned about making a small village community school — Scout Road — an independent academy, should get in touch with Calderdale NUT.

From Nathaniel Le Pla

Friday, 9 July 2010

This is a copy of my letter sent to Reverend Allison, Chair of Governors at Scout Road School.

Dear Reverend Allison

I am writing to you in your capacity as Chair of Governors at Scout Road School. I am a prospective parent and as such an interested party in the decision the school is taking to become an academy.

I understand there is to be a meeting to discuss the subject at 5.30p.m on 13th July 2010. I believe there are a number of pertinent points it is essential to address if the school is to justify its decision to become an academy.

The points I would like to be addressed in the meeting are:

  • Freedom from the National Curriculum
    Could you please provide the curriculum plans that the school would like to implement that are currently forbidden or impossible because of the NC?
  • Freedom from LA control
    Again any specific examples of decisions that the LA have imposed upon the school with regards to its governance up to this point would be helpful. Also a list of the current service that the LA provides to the school as a result of their legal obligations would be most welcome
  • Ability to set own pay and conditions for staff
    Why does the school see this as an advantage? Which aspects of the current pay and conditions do they want to change and why?
  • Ability to change the length of the school days and terms
    My understanding is that this ability already exists once parents and teachers have been consulted. What changes does the school wish to make and what is the supported academic evidence for doing so?
  • School budgets and control
    How much will the lease of the land and buildings be? How much will the cost of HR, legal services, support for SEN pupils, the services of an Educational psychologist, educational social workers, hearing impaired services etc cost the school? What guarantee do parents have that the school’s finances will be improved by a move to academy status?