I don't get it. What incentive could there possibly be for a private company to invest in a Secondary School?
I'm still no clearer to knowing whether this will help or hinder the BSF program either.
If this means increased budgets for Academies and freedom to purchase IT equipment from more competitive sources then it has to be a good policy.
I am free to purchase from whoever I want at the moment.
Increased budgets are fine but I am still wondering what the sponsors themselves are getting out of it - I find it hard to belive they are doing it just for the public good.
I believe they are setting up rules that will not allow "religious agenda" based groups from starting schools. We are an outstanding school but whether or not we would benefit the academy scheme is unclear. How much extra money would be available? 500k may seem like a lot but if they force you down certain purchasing routes this could work out more expensive in the long term. Interesting to see what would happen also our LEA doesn't own the grounds upon which our school resides so that could prove interesting as well.
Along with that I am sure there would be other "behind closed doors" benefits to the contributing private companies, especially since the current Government is backing these changes.
For example if Vodafone suddenly started to fund academies would they have issues when applying for permission to put up more mobile phone masts?
Or is that just my suspicious mind working overtime?
Useful answers on the DfE site (first time for everything!)
Frequently asked questions - Department for Education
Amongst the answers:
Academies used to have outside organisations sponsoring them - is that still the case? Not where an outstanding school is converting to academy status. A school's governing body can establish the academy trust. However, it will be free to work with any external organisationGenerous! (not)What funding will be available to help schools become academies and how can schools claim the money?
We recognise that schools may incur costs such as obtaining legal advice on the documents necessary for setting up the academy, advice on the process for transferring staff, and new signage and stationery. As a contribution to these costs a flat-rate grant, normally £25,000, will be payable to the school's bank account.
When DfE receives notification of a school's intention to convert, a claim form will be provided to enable a claim - supported by a brief case for the claim - to be made.
Why aren't you funding the whole cost of the conversion process?
We believe that it is fair that schools which intend to acquire academy status should devote some of their own resources to the process. This gives them an incentive to keep costs to the necessary minimum over and above the DfE support and also minimises the impact on the education budget for all schools.
If there's any leftWhat happens if the school does not spend the whole £25,000? Does the unspent balance have to be returned?
No. The balance can be spent by the academy as part of its overall income, once open.
My school is an outstanding grammar school - can I remain selective as an academy?
Any outstanding school which is currently a maintained grammar school or uses partial selection (such as for aptitude in a specialist subject) will be able to retain its selective arrangements.
So its not really like the old style Labour Academy programme, it's more really just an opt out of local government control and direct funding to the school and giving the school more control over its curriculum etc. For some schools this could work really well if they have a good governing body and a strong SLT, if they don't that's where it will all go pear shaped so I can see the sense in fast tracking the outstanding schools first.
i'm totally confused by all this now. I tend to think along the lines of broc that many of these academy conversions will effectively be rebranding exercises, hence the 25k new letterhead budget or whatever it is, and with possibly some private sector involvement...but maybe not on the scale as with the nulab acadmies.
if some of these conversions are to be rebuilds then how much exists in the pot for such rebuilds. Or does it effectively become the condem version to reach the parts that BSF may not now reach ?
then there are the free schools who need millions to create new schools. again, what do we have here as far as funding ? PFI, central govt., or a mixture....in which case free schools initially did sound
to me like they'd follow an academy funding model...
Have the condems done their sums or were these plethora of ideas more in hope than expectation.
That's before we even mention managed services and IT outsourcing. !!
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