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General Chat Thread, Becoming an Academy in General; In the last few months the Secondary school where I work has been through an OFSTED inspection and been rated ...
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    Becoming an Academy

    In the last few months the Secondary school where I work has been through an OFSTED inspection and been rated as Special Measures. The general talk with the council seems to point towards the school becoming an academy which is terrifying the teachers. But no one really knows what will happen for support staff, I'm the Network Manager with a team of 2 and have been asked but no real idea! Has anyone lived through the switchover and knows what actually happens to us?

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    DaveP's Avatar
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    We became an academy a while ago. It has made no difference in the day-to-day working of my team. However this may not be the case for all converting schools. Hope it goes well for you.

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    Thanks. How did the change over go? I've heard talk of being made to re-interview/apply for the same job, being made redundant then given a new contract. No one seems to know for sure what actually happens.

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    Going through it now at my governor school. I'm sorry to say that it is impossible to say what will happen to you because it seems that every academy is different. Are you in a multi-academy trust? If you are then there is more likelihood that there may be changes to the setup in your school as they may wish to have an IT support team which covers all the schools. I have been looking into this for our new setup. We will probably stay as we are for now but as more schools join the trust, things may change.
    In a single academy, if the IT setup works well, you have a chance that you will be left "as is" but it is up to the new board to decide what they are going to do.
    Academisation shouldn't terrify the teachers - if things have gone very wrong at the school it will hopefully bring in new ways of working and get them out of the spiral of despair they are very likely in already. My governor school teachers are very keen - the academy is all local (within 5 miles of us), there is a lot of expertise that will be able to bring new insights into how to get us back to "good" and all in all it is seen as a good thing .

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    I get the impression that an Academy Trust has offered your school help if you join up with them. If they have a good rep then hopefully good things will come toward you.

    If your school want to become more autonomous with the same SLT then it seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

    However this is coming from a Techie in a currently imploding school so I'm very cautious about everything now

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    If you have been forced into academy then it is likely that you will go with a trust so that you can get help. Around here it is only the outstanding schools which have gone into academy by themselves.
    From speaking to other governors, it seems that at the transfer, most staff were transferred over to the new setup without having to apply for their own jobs - except the teachers who were RI or inadequate.
    However, there are two levels of Special Measures - both with result in adcademisation, but the upper level will leave the head and SLT (which is what we have) and the lower will result in the HT being instantly removed, along with the governors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    If you have been forced into academy then it is likely that you will go with a trust so that you can get help. Around here it is only the outstanding schools which have gone into academy by themselves.
    Forced Academies have to be Sponsored Academies, they can't go it alone, good and outstanding schools can choose to standalone if they wish.

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    We're an outstanding academy, but we are still supported by a trust.

    A local school is in special measures and has been helped by us and their local college for 12 months, including our deputy acting as their head for that period. I believe they are becoming academy this/next year.

    I do know they have just laid off a percentage of their staff, but I don't know if this is anything to do with Academy status or not.

    Their IT team are still all there and not going anywhere to my knowledge. I speak regularly with the NM there.

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    Id be concerned. Depending on which organisations you become involved with they may or may not require a NM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorfarius View Post
    Thanks. How did the change over go? I've heard talk of being made to re-interview/apply for the same job, being made redundant then given a new contract. No one seems to know for sure what actually happens.
    There was a lot of talk of potential consequences before the change but as far as my team is concerned there have been no differences. Were we simply lucky with our conversion?

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    We are going through it now and have been told that Staff won't be affected, just the way the school is run and who by.

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    Every conversion is unique, there is no set template so no one can say "XYZ will happen when your school converts". I've seen conversions where very little changes personnel wise except the school gets more support, conversely I've seen conversions where everything has changed including replacing the entire Governing Body and taking over IT completely so the school is a very different place.

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    We're part of a multi-academy trust that was set up almost two years ago.

    As has been said, I suspect every situation is different. It has made no difference to us at all and, from an ICT POV, we don't interact with our other partner at all (which I find somewhat bizarre TBH).

    Whether that will change in the fullness of time, who knows?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Forced Academies have to be Sponsored Academies, they can't go it alone, good and outstanding schools can choose to standalone if they wish.
    Yes, that's what I meant But a trust can have lots of schools in it and be a huge organisation, or merely a couple of schools, which changes the way they operate

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    We're a MAT and everyone just got TUPE'd across...

    We were a secondary, with a sponsored primary (that was in special measures and just got an outstanding) and last year we also acquired a free school.

    Didn't feel a thing. Same jobs, same annoyances, no more money - either for us or for purchases, in fact the only thing that changed was the name.

    For new staff there are a few changes, like there is no such thing as a 52 week contract now, they are all term time + something which means they also don't allow term time holidays.



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