GOVERNING BODY

ACADEMY SUB-COMMITTEE

ACADEMY UPDATE

The Governors of Middle Barton School have been fact finding about Academy Schools for the past year. This has involved looking at the pros and cons of what it would mean for our school.  Academy Sub-committee consists of three members of the governing body and the headteacher.

As part of the fact finding we wish to hear the views of parents, carers and the wider community. During the month of June we held an initial consultation with you. This was a chance to request information, to ask questions and most importantly, it was an opportunity for governors' to hear your views and to take these into account in our discussions and deliberations. 

The governors decided to think about this option following the Government's announcement that it is their intention for all schools to convert to academies and because of our own experience of a reduction of the services available from the Local Authority to our school. 

The information below sets out the steps the Governor's Sub-committee have taken so far and the information they have gathered.

 

We hope you find this information useful to help your thinking too.

 

Comments, questions and view can be sent through the email link:

 

academies@middle-barton.oxon.sch.uk

 

Thank you.  

Academy Sub-committee

The Academy Sub-committee consists of three members of the governing body and the headteacher

Academy Sub-committee Principles

The Academy Sub-committee documented the following principles to explore whilst undertaking their fact finding about Academy schools:

  • We want to be able to plan the school’s future to be a place of excellence in teaching and learning.

  • We want the school to focus on teaching without distraction.

  • We want the parents to have confidence in the standards of education provided.

  • We want parents to share the values of the school.

  • We want the highest of standards to be achieved for the children so that all pupils are ensured an education tailored to their needs and abilities and an education that brings out their best qualities.

  • We want the school to retain its character and uniqueness within our community.

  • We want the school to continue to grow and develop so that it is able to respond to changing demands and the needs of the community.

  • We want the school staff to be supported and developed so that their aspirations can be fulfilled.

  • We want all staff to have to access good quality CPD.

  • We want to be able to recruit and retain staff so that we can maintain and further develop standards.

  • We want the headteacher to have opportunities to receive support and guidance from a range of services.

  • We want the school staff to have opportunities to work with other colleagues across a range of schools to formulate policies and practice.

  • We want governors to be supported and developed.

And ultimately, how are we best going to achieve a positive future for our school?

Academy Sub-committee Activity

Below is a timeline of activities undertaken by the Academy Sub-committee or its members.

Summer term 2016

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  • Fact find about different types of academies and what differences there were among them.

September 2016

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  • Attended Oxfordshire Teaching Schools Alliance (OTSA) day conference at Unipart House for headteachers and chairs, and supported by Oxfordshire Local Education Authority,

January 2017

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  • Attended the Academy Fair at the Kings Centre organised by Oxfordshire Local Authority.

  • Attended three separate Academy Status meetings at Chipping Norton School (CNPS) held for chairs of governors.

  • Created seven questions for initial Q&A fact find with Local Multi Academy Trusts (MAT).

MILL Academy Trust http://millacademy.co.uk/ 

Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust http://www.odst.org.uk/

River Learning Trust http://www.riverlearningtrust.org/

The Warriner Trist https://warrinermultiacademytrust.co.uk/

The White Horse Federation http://thewhitehorsefederation.org.uk/

February 2017

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  • Meeting with School Bursary Services (LA) for advice on the financials surrounding a primary school becoming an Academy. 

March 2017

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  • Attended a conference on the pros and cons and what Headteachers and Governors should know about becoming an Academy meeting at Henry Box School, Witney. (Paper copies available of the ½ day conference)

  • Invited three local Multi Academy Trust CEOs to meet with and present to the Full Governing Body (FGB) and all teaching staff. A full in-depth Q&A was undertaken and responses to our questions were provided by the River Learning Trust, the Warriner Trust and the MILL Trust.

 

May 2017

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  • Meeting with Oxfordshire Local Authority Academy Manager to discuss the Local Authority’s Academy Programme.

June 2017

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  • Parent Consultation Meetings.

  • Staff update on Academisation.

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Research and Opinion

The Academy Subcommittee has gathered further information, obtained opinion and received views from many different sources including:

a) NGA website, and other publications. https://www.nga.org./

b) The Government’s 10 facts about academies. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/10-facts-you-need-to-know-about-academies

c) The National Union of Teachers’ rebuttal of the Government’s 10 facts. https://www.teachers.org.uk/sites/default/files2014/nut-rebuttal-10-facts-you-need-to-know-about-academies.doc

d) Report to Governors 25/05/17 - The Campaign for State Education.

e) Guidance Paper: The Association of School and College Leaders: “Staying in Control of your School’s Destiny”. https://www.ascl.org.uk/help-and-advice/guidance-papers/ascl-guidance-staying-in-control-of-your-schools-destiny-joining-a-multiacademy-trust.html 

f) John Christie- Chair of Governors at Orchard Fields Primary school. Governors decision not to convert.

g) Hook Norton Primary school in Oxfordshire. Governors decision not to convert.

h) Sam Derby- Chair of Governors at St. Francis School decision to convert.

i) Julie Mc Culloch- Association of School and College Leaders and Trustee of RLT.

j) Tracey Smith- Headteacher of Tower Hill school- recently joined RLT.

k) Kath Donovan- retired Chair of Cutteslowe Primary School- joined RLT.

l) Neil Wallis- Parent of St. Mary’s School- Local Councillors responses to questions about academisation from a parent.

All of the above documents that have been considered by the sub-committee are available on request. 

Community and Other Stake Holders

The Academy Subcommittee has also engaged with the community and other stakeholders including:

a) Existing Parents

b) Future Parents

c) Pre-School

d) Wider community through bulletin and shop advertisements

A Parent/Community Consultation began for a month from Monday 5 June. Further Parental consultations will conclude at 9am on Friday 6th October.

Parent Consultation Meetings

3pm-4pm and 7pm-8pm

 

Staff update on Academisation

3:30pm

Governors Academy Sub-Committee meeting and prepared Q&A document following parent consultation.

Prepare recommendations to the Full Governing Body (FGB) about the benefits and disadvantages of converting with likely implications for pupils, parents, staff and governors.

FGB discussed Academy Sub-committee findings and made a decision following discussion on Academy Sub-committee recommendations.

Informed parents of FGB’s decision to join the RLT MAT.

Before end of term

RLT parent consultation evenings

Paul James, CEO from River Learning Trust to talk to parents

Two informal sessions

to be held between 3.15pm and 4.15pm

and also between 6.30pm and 7.30pm

End of Parent Consultation and Parent Feedback

All parent question to be submitted by 9am

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Middle Barton Primary School

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