Bromley LEA giving up...

Seamus's picture
by Seamus
 9
Bromley LEA are making it known that all schools, both primary and secondary, should look to become academies as existing LEA services are becoming unsustainable and will no longer be provided by them.
Can they do this ?? Will they still be legally responsible or can they absolve themselves in this way ??
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Allan Beavis's picture
Wed, 03/10/2012 - 23:23

Hi Seamus

You might want to have a look firstly at David Wolfe's blog on the legal ramifications of Academies here:-

www.davidwolfe.org.uk/wordpress/

sarah dodds's picture
Thu, 04/10/2012 - 05:36

Sad to say that Lincolnshire threw in the towel a year ago, telling schools to become academies and advising them to join with CFBT, who already had a lucrative contract with them. It has led to chaos in Lincolnshire, with schools converting who did not wish to and with the head and governors admitting in public they were driven to it for political, not educational reasons. The only thing that could have stopped the carnage that has followed would have been organised pressure from within the school the community, with head teachers, teachers, parents and governors uniting to say that should not happen. Where this occurs you stand a chance. Look at the movements in Downhills, Birmingham etc to find out how these campaigns can work. I suggest you contact the anti-academies alliance for help for excellent in support in resisting the change.

Ricky-Tarr's picture
Thu, 04/10/2012 - 08:51

Seamus

For secondary schools, this isn't going to make a heap of difference.

Of Bromley's 30 mainstream secondaries, 14 are already academies, 14 are foundation schools (almost as independent as academies) and two are Voluntary Aided church schools (one of which is a Grammar).

Bromley has NO community schools, as such, in the secondary phase. So not a lot of work for bureaucrats there.

It does, however, have 53 community primaries plus 11 voluntary aided ones.

Does Bromley's big nudge include the primaries, do you know?

Ricky-Tarr's picture
Thu, 04/10/2012 - 08:53

.....sorry, Seamus...

I've just noticed you have already answered that one in your original post!

It does include the primaries.

Wow. Things are really beginning to move.

Sarah's picture
Thu, 04/10/2012 - 12:00

Ricky - it might be the case in Bromley but in most parts of the country LAs are still very willing and active in supporting their schools. The local authority here still maintains more than 99% of it's primary schools and 80% of secondary schools - so this is far from being a universal picture. It's no surprise that this isn't widely known though as the DfE has effectively obliterated maintained schools from the picture and their website is simply a marketing tool for academies and free schools.

Ricky-Tarr's picture
Thu, 04/10/2012 - 12:49

I dare say, Sarah, that in all parts of the country the universal instinct of the bureaucrats is to hold on to their cushy-but-unnecessary jobs and they will embrace any make work scheme to help them do so. It's beginning to look like history isn't on their side.

Sarah's picture
Thu, 04/10/2012 - 22:57

Since it isn't LA's that decide whether schools remain as maintained schools I'd say that's a gross misrepresentation of reality. The overwhelming majority of primary schools in this country know that there's nothing in academy conversion for them and a great deal to be gained by retaining the support and services offered by a local authority that cares about outcomes for local children. So it's a matter for schools to decide whether they consider LA support to be unnecessary and, guess what, the majority have decided it isn't. So it really matters not a jot what you think.

In my own area there hasn't been a single school expressing interest in academy conversion in well over a year now that the financial bribes and inducements have gone.

Rebecca Hanson's picture
Thu, 04/10/2012 - 16:17

I'm really sorry to hear this Seamus.

What a nightmare of a mess.

Thanks for letting us know and I'd be grateful for any more information anyone can provide about what happens next.

Janet Downs's picture
Fri, 05/10/2012 - 13:45

A full list of services provided by LAs to their schools is in first link below. Academies have to decide how they will obtain these services. They are free to purchase the services from the LA but LA services could become unviable if academies decided to buy the services from elsewhere (or not buy them at all).

This puts LA maintained schools in an impossible situation as they have to rely on services which the LA finds are increasingly expensive to provide.

Some items do not become the responsibility of the academy and continue to rest with the local authority (see full list in first link below). These include: home to school transport (including SEN), education psychology, SEN statementing and assessment, monitoring of SEN provision, parent partnerships and prosecution of parents for non-attendance.

In addition, LAs have responsibilities under the School Admissions Regulations 2012.

Few parents would think these jobs were bureaucratic sinecures but they are portrayed as such by supporters of academy conversion.

As more LAs begin to find themselves in the same situation as Bromley, then more schools will be forced to become academies. It will be interesting to find out whether academies will fund all the services they are supposed to, drop some, get sucked into expensive contracts, or provide inferior services (eg meals, academies don't have to adhere to school food standards).

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

http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/t/the%20school%20admissio...

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