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Academy Consultation

Proposed Academy Conversion as part of The Howard Academy Trust

 

As you may already be aware, the Governing Body of Miers Court Primary School has applied to become an academy under the Academies Act 2010.  Further information about what becoming an academy means, and how to comment on the proposals, is set out below.

 

Will Miers Court Primary School definitely become an academy?

The Governing Body has submitted an application to convert to academy status and is working towards a conversion on 1st September 2017.  However, the school is not obligated to become an academy until the contract between The Howard Academy Trust and the Department for Education (known as the Funding Agreement) is signed.

 

The Governing Body has not yet begun to negotiate the Funding Agreement with the DfE and are at the very early stages of the process.  The Academy Trust will not sign the Funding Agreement until parents and carers of pupils at the school, staff at the school and pupils themselves have had the opportunity to comment on the proposals.

 

We feel it is appropriate to partner with a Multi Academy Trust that is local and can support the development and progression of the school in the future.

 

We will hold meetings with staff, and will be keeping pupils informed throughout the process.  Any comments or representations which are made about the proposals will be considered by the Governing Body before a decision is taken to sign the Funding Agreement.  Details of how to provide comments and representations are set out below.

 

What is an academy?

An academy is essentially an independent school which is funded by the state.  It is independent of the local authority and receives its funding direct from central government.  Previously academies have tended to replace schools which have poor results or otherwise needed to improve.  Under the Academies Act 2010, all schools are able to become academies.  As Miers Court Primary School is a “Good” school we can apply without being part of a group of schools, and without a sponsor.

 

What are the benefits of being an academy?

  • Academies are independent of local authority control – this means that academies have more freedom about how they conduct themselves.
  • Academies receive their funding direct from central government – this means that academies receive more funding because none is retained by the local authority for the provision of central services.
  • Academies have more freedom over the curriculum taught – this means that academies do not need to teach parts of the National Curriculum which they do not consider appropriate for their pupils.
  • Academies can set their own pay and conditions of service for their staff – academies have the freedom to alter the pay and conditions of their staff (subject to normal employment law protections for staff) and so can provide staff with better pay and conditions than previously.
  • Academies have more freedom to undertake innovative projects – academies are companies and so have more freedom to undertake innovative projects, such as setting up and utilising trading subsidiaries.

 

Are there any disadvantages to becoming an academy?

As an academy we will be directly liable for matters such as insurance, employment liabilities, pensions, health and safety and property maintenance.  However, as mentioned above, academies receive more funding from central government to help them meet these additional costs some of which will be paid for centrally by The Howard Academy Trust.

 

Will the admissions arrangements change?

The current admission arrangements will remain in place.  If the academy wanted to change its admission arrangements consultation would be required.

 

Will Miers Court Primary School change?

We want to continue to be a Good school and strive to be Outstanding.  We therefore do not intend to change except in ways which we think will improve the school even more.  For students, it is unlikely that they will see much, if any, change in their day to day school lives.  Academies do have the power to vary their curriculum and vary the length of the school day, however, we do not intend to take any such steps at this stage and would engage with parents/carers, staff and students if we did ever intend to make such changes in the future.

 

How can I find out more?

Further information about academies is available on the DfE website:

http://www.education.gov.uk/academies.

 

If you can’t find the answer to your question here, or on the DfE website please contact Mrs L Lewis, Headteacher, who will try to assist.

 

How can I make representations?

The closing date for representations to be made is the 4th November 2016.  Representations can be made in writing to:

 

The Headteacher

Miers Court Primary School

Silverspot Close,

Rainham, Gillingham

Kent ME8 8JR.

 

Or by email to: office@mierscourt.medway.sch.uk

 

 

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