Campaigns: For Transparency in Academies and Free Schools

Posts about For Transparency in Academies and Free Schools

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David Barry: So its FINAL then: The latest in the continuing series regarding Whitehall Park School

INTRODUCTION This follows on from the recent posting (see sidebar) about an application for planning permission to Islington Council, to provide temporary accomodation for one academic year (2014 -2015) for Whitehall Park School on part of the old Ashmount School site in Islington, here: A fortnight before the announced, legal, deadline for comments or objections to the application for planning ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by David Barry: "The following announcement has appeared on a Government web site: "EFA has agreed with Islington Council to use part of the old site as the location for Whitehall Park free school – set up in response to significant local demand, and ......"

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David Barry: How many? From where? How successful has Whitehall Park School been in recruiting children?

This is a sequel - part two if you will - to a posting I made on the 8 March 2014 here: In that posting I used the actual number of applications to Whitehall Park School (obtained by Freedom of Information request from the DfE, the school themselves would not say) to establish that the strident claims by Bellevue Place that ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by David Barry: "It seems that Bellevue have been briefing local people admitting there have been difficulties recruiting children to the school. I understand they have been getting some feed back following the story in the Islington Gazette, referenced ......"

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David Ward: What they don’t want you to know about Cavell School

The imposed Interim Executive Board's consultation on the future of Cavell School in Norwich has just finished. Well, I say "consultation" - it was that in name only. It consisted of two pages of propaganda about academies and the proposed sponsor, followed by an invitation to comment. Feeling that this is hardly an adequate means of determining our views, I ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by David Ward: "A quick update on this - the school's proposed sponsor took over another school a few months ago, their first, and the results have not been positive: http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/education/parents_remain_concerned_over_new_stalham_junior_academy_1_3647947 So much about this gives cause for concern, but the IEB responded surprisingly ......"

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Janet Downs: Multiple funding for school capital projects should be replaced with one source, and LAs should be able to set up community schools, says LGA

Prepare to be confused. If schools need maintenance or rebuilding, or if new places are required, there are several funding pots. These have different labels such as: 1 Basic Needs Allocation for new pupils places (the Government was accused of siphoning money from this pot to free schools); 2 Targeted Basic Needs Funding: additional funding for extra school places. 3 Priority School Building Programme: ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Gove’s revolution + LibDem/Tory Coalition changes to finance prevent rational school place planning in Leeds NW | Leeds North West Constituency Labour Party: "[…] – the complexity.[courtesy of Local Schools Network] ‘ If schools need maintenance or rebuilding, or if new places are required, there are now […]..."

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David Ward: Cavell in the courts – a final chance to save our school

`The rule of law is fundamental to the operation of any democracy, but getting access to the appropriate legal remedies is a complex and expensive process. In fact, in our case it seems that the authorities are relying on that fact, because almost every step in what can only be described as the hostile occupation of Cavell Primary and Nursery ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by David Ward: "Yes, it beggars belief that a Schools Adjudicator could think the sham of a consultation we've been offered is in any way adequate. It neglects every important aspect of consultation on any topic. I did know about his job at Eaton, ......"

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Janet Downs: If we don’t become an academy, central government and funding agencies will ignore us…

“As a local authority school we simply would not be listened to by central government or other funding agencies…” This is one of the reasons cited by Hove Park School, Brighton, for becoming an academy. The school also says: “The Local Authority system is under-funded and unable to provide the support to schools that it has in the past.” These two sentences appear to ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Janet Downs: "Thanks, Graham. I'd missed the bit about weighting for maintenance under the heading Overall Principle. However, about 40% of secondary schools are still not academies (although a proportion with be VA so for the sake of argument say 30% are ......"

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David Ward: The Kafkaesque Nightmare of Forced Academisation

It happened so suddenly and so brutally, like being plunged into a nightmare beyond even Kafka’s vivid imagination. Overnight, we were invaded, occupied and treated as voiceless serfs, trapped in a murky world where everyone was working against us and no one was accountable for their actions. And it all happened in a quiet corner of Norwich. A little over a ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by David Ward: "John, are you aware of Parents 4 Education? They're quite new, but it sounds like you have a lot in common. There’s clearly a substantial body of opinion that things need to change and fast. The trick is to harness ......"

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Janet Downs: Three types of academies: “Rewarded succeeders”, “Punished failures” and “Near boiled Frogs”

“Think of yourselves as a frog in a pan of water on the stove. You can wait for the flames of Ofsted to bring the water to the boil, or jump out now while you still can. I would advise you to jump now.” DfE broker quoted by David Wolfe QC, evidence to Education Select Committee In other words, schools jump before ... read more and comment →

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Janet Downs: Gove is wrong: academies and free schools aren’t subject to greater accountability because they’re not publicly audited

The school landscape is rapidly changing, writes Steve Bundred*, ex-chief executive of the Audit Commission. The expansion of the academies programme and the establishment of free schools have further complicated an area in which local authority (LA) maintained schools rub shoulders with foundation, voluntary-controlled (VC) and voluntary-aided (VA) schools. Many of these schools are not under LA stewardship and have ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Janet Downs: "Steve - according to the Audit Commission website, it's been doing "Protecting the Public Purse" reports since 2009 (first link). It doesn't appear to have had the power to report on English LAs until the 2007 Health Act was ......"

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Janet Downs: Gove ducks question about Sulivan School closure by accusing Labour MPs of hypocrisy. A case of the pot calling the kettle black?

Sulivan Primary School is, regular readers will know, threatened with closure (see sidebar). The local council has voted to shut it down despite it being a popular, successful primary school. Sulivan is one of few London primary schools in the Mayor of London’s Gold Club which identifies and praises exceptional London schools. But neither this success nor campaigning ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Janet Downs: "UPDATE Hammersmith and Fulham Council has announced its intention to review plans for Sulivan School. See press release here. ..."

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