Omissions in Academy Funding Agreements and one rather shocking addition!

Helen Flynn's picture
The model funding agreement for Academies version 2 is much shorter than that for Labour academies. Here are some of the omissions causing the most concern:

In the model agreement there is:

1. No duty to promote the well-being of children
2. No requirement to produce a school development plan
3. No duty to work with partners on local 14-19 arrangements
4 No arrangement to pass pupil performance data to the LA for strategic planning purposes
5. No obligation to publish a prospectus
6. No duty to have a crisis management plan in place before the academy opens

This in a wider context which includes the removal from all schools of the "duty to cooperate".

Also, here is a rather worrying clause (no. 28) from the new model funding agreement:

"The Academy Trust shall have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State on sex and relationship education to ensure that children at the academy are protected from inappropriate teaching materials and they learn the nature of marriage and its importance for family life and for bringing up children."

That's a nice one for single parent families and civil partnerships, isn't it? Very 21st century......

Also, looks like you can pretty much toss the "Governors' Guide to the Law" away, if you are an academy governor, as it seems very little of it actually applies.

I suppose this is the "freedom" they keep banging on about--freedom to let academies do pretty much what they like and hang the consequences for anyone else--all at the taxpayers' expense, of course
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Fiona Millar's picture
Mon, 31/01/2011 - 20:26

Hmmm - a new Clause 28. Very worrying.

Peter Hook's picture
Mon, 31/01/2011 - 20:38

Some of it seems to mirror changes for all schools but I'm appalled by Clause 28! The lack of accountability is very worrying as well, particularly as the number of academies rises - as it surely will.

Alison's picture
Mon, 31/01/2011 - 21:10

I agree with the comments above. Civilised society should not teach SRE according to the views of one person. Michael Gove may have a very reasoned approach but we don't know what subsequent Secretaries of State will impose.But How does this fit in with the other "curriculum freedoms" Academies are supposed to get?

Gary Naylor's picture
Mon, 31/01/2011 - 22:32

Is there a risk assessment anywhere of moving to academy status or setting up a soi disant "free school"? Considering that a PTA can't pour a cup of tea without one, why am I not seeing these everywhere?

PS I do know why actually.

Raeki's picture
Mon, 31/01/2011 - 22:37

Can you post the link to the original document. There's such an array of funding agreement stuff. It would be good to know exactly where to rummage.

Alison's picture
Mon, 31/01/2011 - 22:50

It's interesting that there isn't a similar clause protecting pupils from "inappropriate science teaching" in academies. Water as an element any one? Intelligent design?

John's picture
Tue, 01/02/2011 - 00:04

Clause 28 isn't new. It exists in the first set of academy funding agreements (as Clause 28 or sometimes 42). You can see it on archived versions on the old DfES and DCSF websites going back to 2006.

Charlotte Reed's picture
Wed, 05/10/2011 - 17:04

Hello John , you commented on details of a funding agreement, are you an expert on them and could you help us with a question on pupils numbers ?
There is only 1 total number on the funding agreement, how do they arrive at this ?

Janet Downs's picture
Tue, 01/02/2011 - 08:40

The new Clause 28: Who will decide what are "inappropriate teaching materials". Education about sex and relationships needs to frank. This frankness may be shocking to some people. However, a teacher can't discuss, say, the dangers of unprotected sex without being explicit. And what does "the nature of marriage" mean? This question may sound trite. However, to a child who has witnessed domestic violence within a marriage might answer: "A place where parents beat each other up". The stress should be on "stable family relationships" which does not discriminate against those who decide not to live together but not marry.

Ellen Power's picture
Tue, 01/02/2011 - 12:10

Deeply concerned about lack of accountability of academies and also centralisation of power with Education Secretary. As for clause 28 - I thought we had all been through this, and I am very worried about who decides which family models are appropriate for teaching in schools...

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