Academy Implications for Local Authorities.

Sarah Dobbs's picture
Thought this was a really interesting insight into the chaos resulting because of academy growth. Again, it highlights the dangerous territory that Gove is taking our education system.

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Janet Downs's picture
Thu, 30/06/2011 - 15:33

The article highlights another unforeseen problem with the academy programme - the effect on other local authority services when funding is diverted to academies. The Director of Children's Services in Lincolnshire says she will have less money to spend on education welfare as academies will be financied directly and her budget will decrease accordingly. She feels this is particularly unfair when some of the academies, such as grammar schools, will have no education welfare problem but they will still receive money to cover it.

And Councillor Williams, chairman of the young persons and scrutiny committee, is worried that small rural primary schools will be left out in the cold. Of course, these little local schools could sign up to the CfBT education trust as are many Lincolnshire schools. But will an organisation whose head office is in Reading really care much about a tiny school in the fens?

Alan's picture
Sat, 02/07/2011 - 20:44

There's should be a broader context (CVA) to include all of the data, for example, the effects of selection, not only on academic attainment, but also on the allocation of funding for welfare. It's unfair to use CVA to state underattainment is due to an association between deprivation and ability whilst ignoring the grammar school context in which secondary moderns have to operate. Note, 'Narrowing the Gap in Deprived Areas of Lincolnshire, 2010' makes no reference to selection in the grammar school ward.

In Lincolnshire, CAF (Common Assessment Framework) is being replaced by TAC (Team Around the Child), which undermines the holistic approach that should bring practitioners together to provide an assessment of needs. There is however confusion on whether it is CAF or TAC that is going (been to two meetings that provided conflicting information). The message I think is thus, outside services will be limited, placing an onus on schools to provide their own support. There ability to due this will depend on the allocation of funding.

Janet Downs's picture
Sun, 03/07/2011 - 07:39

The article conveyed the annoyance felt by Lincolnshire Councillor Stephen Williams (Conservative):

"Everything is in a state of flux at the moment, which is very frustrating when we are trying the provide the best for the children of Lincolnshire.

The Academies Bill was rushed through Parliament at a speed which is usually only used in time of national emergency. The Act is not even a year old, yet there are already rumblings of disquiet from local councillors about the the consequences of encouraging schools to convert particularly as schools can convert in a few weeks thereby throwing local authorities' planning into disarray. Mr Gove is fond of saying that children have only one chance at education. That's correct, but Mr Gove's policies are causing such uncertainty that they are having a negative effect on children already in school.

Many of the councillors worried about the effects of academy conversion are Conservatives - in Lincolnshire, Rutland, Birmingham, Bromley, Isle of Wight... And there's this on the ConservativeFuture site from a Tory who changed his mind about academies after a two weeks' work placement in a school:

"What should be made very clear though are the bounderies that are set, and the limits on headteachers power, in order that teachers dont suffer. The potential for abuse is great. So of course the balance needs to be struck between benefits – which have the potential to be great, versus the potential for infringing on teachers conditions – because I do have great sympathy for them, because I may become one"

And I would advise the article's writer, a Lancaster Tory, to log on to this site and find out the full implications of academy conversion. He, like many Tories, may find its not as beneficial or desirable as they have been led to believe.

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