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'Becoming an academy does not insulate you from decline'

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 7:31 am
by JIM CURRAN
Ofsted: Nearly 100 schools no longer offer 'good' or 'outstanding' education after converting to become academies

Nearly 100 schools no longer offer a “good” or “outstanding” education after converting to become academies, education standards watchdog Ofsted’s annual report has revealed.

“Becoming an academy does not insulate you from decline,” it said. “In 2014/15, there were 99 converter academies that declined from good or outstanding to less than good.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/educa ... 56206.html

Re: 'Becoming an academy does not insulate you from decline'

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:24 pm
by JIM CURRAN
Academy chains come under fire from Ofsted chief

England’s largest academy chains have “serious weaknesses” as bad as the local authorities they were intended to replace, Sir Michael Wilshaw has told the education secretary, Nicky Morgan, in strong criticism of the government’s flagship school improvement programme.

In a memo to Morgan published on Thursday, the Ofsted chief inspector singled out seven of the worst-performing multi-academy trust (MAT) chains, citing weak leadership, poor performance and lack of oversight as among the concerns found by his inspectors.
http://www.theguardian.com/education/20 ... sted-chief

Re: 'Becoming an academy does not insulate you from decline'

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:59 am
by JIM CURRAN
Every school will be forced to become an academy, Government to announce

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/po ... 32466.html

Re: 'Becoming an academy does not insulate you from decline'

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:48 am
by Elizabeth
This is worrying.

Academies don't have to follow the National Curriculum. Now we have systematic synthetic phonics firmly and clearly in the National Curriculum. Does this news mean fewer schools will teach synthetic phonics?

Re: 'Becoming an academy does not insulate you from decline'

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:53 am
by Elizabeth
Hopefully, the Phonics Check will help to ensure basic phonics is taught. But the Phonics Check doesn't assess spelling or higher level phonics.

Re: 'Becoming an academy does not insulate you from decline'

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:55 pm
by Debbie Hepplewhite
I find it baffling that the Government formulated a new national curriculum - and then the same Government plans to turn all schools into academies which do not have to follow the national curriculum.

Ridiculous.

Re: 'Becoming an academy does not insulate you from decline'

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:10 pm
by chew8
It looks as if academies do have to follow the National Curriculum to some extent:

https://schoolgovernors.thekeysupport.c ... -guidance/

Jenny C.

Re: 'Becoming an academy does not insulate you from decline'

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:52 pm
by Elizabeth
I understand that academies don't have to follow the National Curriculum at all, but I may be wrong.

(I couldn't easily get the information from the link Jenny gave. When I found the information, it was the same link and still didn't work from the message forum. I googled for "Do academies have to follow DfE guidance? — The Key" and got to the same web address, but this time with the information.)

This is what I found:
The Department for Education (DfE) lists the statutory guidance that applies to academies and free schools:

Assessment and reporting arrangements (Key Stages 1 and 2)
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Safeguarding
Exclusions
Alternative provision
Admissions (the School Admissions Code)
Sex and relationships education (SRE)
Special educational needs (SEN) / health needs
The National Curriculum doesn't appear on this list.

Re: 'Becoming an academy does not insulate you from decline'

Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:27 am
by chew8
Sorry about that - I posted in a hurry before going out.

Academies do have to comply with assessment and reporting arrangements at Key Stage 1, and I imagine this includes doing the Year 1 phonics check and reporting the results. In order to get good results, schools would have to teach in a way that is compatible with the NC English Programme of Study, even if they don't follow the PoS as such.

I'm trying to find out more about this.

Jenny C.

Re: 'Becoming an academy does not insulate you from decline'

Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 11:49 am
by chew8
I've had a prompt and authoritative reply.

It's more or less as I'd thought - the national assessments ARE compulsory for academies, and the new assessments test knowledge of the curriculum. Academies will have to cover the necessary ground even if they don't follow the National Curriculum as such.

Jenny C.

Re: 'Becoming an academy does not insulate you from decline'

Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:17 pm
by volunteer
Yes. So it makes sense having a primary national curriculum, to help academies work out what they need to cover for the assessments in phonics, maths and English in year 1, year 2 and year 6 but not a secondary one as there are no KS3 assessment and reporting arrangements.

Re: 'Becoming an academy does not insulate you from decline'

Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:25 am
by Debbie Hepplewhite
The thoughts of Estelle Morris:

http://www.theguardian.com/education/20 ... -academies

And others - see the readers' comments!

Re: 'Becoming an academy does not insulate you from decline'

Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:35 am
by JIM CURRAN
Teachers protest against academy plan

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-35883922

Re: 'Becoming an academy does not insulate you from decline'

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:59 pm
by kestrel
I am wondering if there is any chance that academising primaries might actually improve phonics teaching in some schools, perhaps because they are no longer linked to LEAs, or become part of a chain that exposes them to other influences besides what other local schools are doing?

Re: 'Becoming an academy does not insulate you from decline'

Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:26 am
by Debbie Hepplewhite
Possibly - but sometimes the message in the academy chain leads to all the schools being expected to use the same SSP phonics programme regardless of the money and time they've individually already invested in specific SSP programmes and training.

It could be that schools will benefit from a change of programme, or it could be that their current SSP is not getting good enough results.

In which case, there should be a proper investigation into why the results are not being achieved. All SSP authors/trainers report that it is common to see teachers not using the SSP programmes according to their design and according to the training. It is reasonable that teachers may well look to use their professional discretion with the use of any programme/resources, but there has to be rationality to any changes beyond whim or personal preferences.

Equally, I think there should be some proper accountability for blanket changes of SSP programme via written papers - for example, those who make the decisions for such change.

It is healthy for different programmes to stay in the mix and to enable schools to make choices.