I consider the appointment of the "trustees" was undemocratic and possibly unlawful.

Richard Galbraith's picture
 3
I was a Governor of the -------- (name redacted by editor) School Federation.

When the decision was made to become an academy I was initially in support. This was because I considered the education authority had behaved badly regarding the BSF fiasco.

The governors were advised that they would elect the trustees. So far as I am concerned, this opportunity never really arose. Instead the appointment process was sprung at a governors meeting at which there was no agenda item. I considered this to be no more than an ambush.

I had no personal input into the appointment of the "trustees" and because the matter was not included on the agenda for the meeting had no real opportunity of doing so.

Had I realised that the trustees were going to be appointed at that meeting I would most certainly have attended the meeting and challenged the process.

The four nominees were nominated by one of their number and were voted in there and then with all of the nominees voting.

I challenged this process at a subsequent meeting and the governors then decided not to minute my challenge. Another example of open governance!

I resigned as a governor because I was not prepared to continue having an association with an organisation whose values do not reflect mine when it comes to following open and democratic process.

I would be interested if anybody has any similar experience of this type of behaviour?
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Janet Downs's picture
Thu, 31/03/2011 - 13:36

Unfortunately your experience confirms what many of us suspect - that the process of academy conversion is open to abuse. One example is the consultation process. There is a legal requirement to consult but the guidelines say it’s up to schools to decide “whom and how to consult”. There is, therefore, no legal requirement to consult widely. Schools can decide on the length of consultation time so this can be kept short. This means that publicity can be kept to the minimum thereby avoiding legitimate opposition. As you have found this can mean keeping items off an agenda.

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/typesofschools/academies/...

I fear there may be many, many more examples like this, and once a school converts it is tied into academy status for a minimum of seven years.

Bill's picture
Thu, 31/03/2011 - 14:59

"...the process of academy conversion is open to abuse. One example is the consultation process. There is a legal requirement to consult but the guidelines say it’s up to schools to decide “whom and how to consult”. There is, therefore, no legal requirement to consult widely."

Janet, is there a statutory requirement in the consultation process for the funding agreement to be consulted on by all members of the governing body prior to conversion?

Janet Downs's picture
Thu, 31/03/2011 - 15:16

Billy - the link in my post above will take you to the DfE page answering questions about academy conversion. You might find the answer you require there.

This link to the NASUWT may also be useful:

http://www.nasuwt.org.uk/InformationandAdvice/NASUWTPolicyStatements/Pol...

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