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School Possibly converting to academy

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by LimboBimbo, Nov 1, 2015.

  1. LimboBimbo

    LimboBimbo New commenter

    In talks at the moment, HT has encouraged us to approach her with any questions or concerns we have about our primary school (which is a lovely, supportive place to work) following our outstanding secondary feeder school heading down the academy route.

    What questions or concerns do I need to raise? Not familiar with the differences between working for an academy or LA, or what to expect.

    Many thanks,
    LB xx
     
    petenewton likes this.
  2. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    You want to know a few things:

    1) Will the academy honour STPCD or are they going to branch out on their own. This is your biggest question really.

    2) Will there be any changes to management etc.

    3) What is the vision going to be. People talk about academies being a 'one size fits all' homogeneous entity. They are not. I take it you are looking to become a MAT under the secondary school, rather than a sponsored one? What the vision of the leadership is is very important.

    Reality is that you can't hold back the tide forever. Some staff, for political reasons, will understandably be unwavering in their opposition. The sensible thing is to be open minded. It may be the best option available.
     
  3. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    I would say do your research on the "academy sponsor". It should tell you a lot about what you need to know.
     
  4. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    InkyP and Vince_Ulam like this.
  5. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Absolutely.

    Despite the school claiming that STPCD would be maintained through TUPE it managed to change the working conditions for all staff and those that didn't like it were eased out.

    Awful places. Resist as much as you can.

    Oh and yes the SLT got really nice pay rises as well.........
     
  6. JessicaRabbit1

    JessicaRabbit1 Senior commenter

    This. I wish I had done some research on my current school's sponsor before I moved to work there. Ours is truly horrific, and according to my union rep notorious for, and I quote: "taking on schools that they can't cope with and then using excessive policing in the classroom to try and show that they are succeeding."

    Find out who the potential sponsors are, check out the schools that they might already own. What is the staff turnover rate like at these schools (assuming that there are others)? Do as much research as possible.
     
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    .

    Try reading this article I've written. Although it is for people thinking of moving to an Academy, it has relevance to you too.


    Are Academies right for me?

    Best wishes

    .
     
  8. johnberyl

    johnberyl Occasional commenter

    Information on staff turnover can be difficult to find but a freedom of information request led to this recently:

    http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/oct/13/schools-harris-academy-teachers-ofsted
     
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Academy turnover of 30% should ring alarm bells? A LA school I know of has had 100% of the teachers leave in the last 2 years under a new head. Over that in the sense some appointed by that head have also now left. Where do these alarm bells ring, because no-one is hearing them for that school?

    I worked in a school that was part of a MAT with the partner secondary and other primary schools and it was lovely. Great school, supportive leadership, useful partnership working. Might well be fine if relations are already good with the secondary and there isn't a horrid sponsor.
    I'd ask what kind of academy they are moving to and if the primary (yours) is likely to follow.
     
  10. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I'd suggest asking how much SLT pay packets are going to increase and when they will be buying that nice new sporty little runner they've had their eye on...

    ... but I doubt they'd like that.
     
    emerald52 likes this.
  11. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    OMG! You must know one of our SLT. While an LA school driving round in a very small city car. Now a very fast expensive sports car!
     
    lanokia likes this.
  12. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Academy status... doing their bit for middle life crisis sufferers across the nation.
     
    snowyhead and HelenREMfan like this.
  13. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

  14. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    Vince_Ulam likes this.
  15. southerngirlupnorth

    southerngirlupnorth New commenter

    When the school I worked at converted to an academy one of the new SLT said that he liked to see low morale in his staff as it showed they were working really hard! I wouldn't share this but I have heard similar stories from quite a few academies both primary and secondary so it isn't a one off. I escaped a year and a half ago and now work in the charity sector, its so much nicer BUT I do miss the teaching (the kids part, not the bureaucratic part).
     
  16. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    @southerngirlupnorth

    I'm not disputing what you said...

    But I genuinely believe there is pleasure to be gained in hard work. That morale is lifted by working hard. Which means the HT at your old place is ... hmmm, swear filter is on. ... not a very clever person.
     
  17. LimboBimbo

    LimboBimbo New commenter

    Thank you all for your considered replies. I'm not sure who the proposed sponsors are yet, but that is an excellent starting point.

    As a school we are being open and honest between staff, SLT and HT, I'm just a lowly worker, but have to say that they've got our backs and it is a 1 in a million school to work for compared with others I've been bullied out of or taken the **** by.

    Thanks again everyone, lots to think about- mostly what will change? Hopefully not our working environment :(
    LB xx
     
  18. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    You may not have a sponsor. To me this sounds like a mat or multi academy trust) with the lead being the secondary school. What is their reputation like as an employer?

    To be honest a lot of schools are going this way as it if preferable to having sponsors forced on you if results drop.
     
  19. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Out of interest, what is your OFSTED rating? This will probably make a difference to how much change may or may not be implemented
     
  20. drek

    drek Star commenter

    What will change? It is like any takeover in business. Rebranding will follow. At any cost.
    It all depends on who gets control of the budget. What 'new' staff are brought in to force the old school to work in line with the new school's 'vision'. I imagine no one will want to rock the boat until packages for old and new SLT are sorted first.
    If you're ucky no changes may affect 'lowly teachers' for at least a year or two. After that it depends on the 'goals' and 'vision' of the lead team.
     
    Compassman likes this.

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