Academies are publically funded local schools. As a converted academy it is the Governing Body through the members who are accountable for teaching and learning, contracted services, and curriculum. As now the Governing Body would be the admissions authority and employer. However, local councils still retain responsibilities for some services, for example Special Education Needs and home to school transport.
Previous academy models required a sponsor to support a “failing” school or school in challenging circumstances– this is not the case with the new academies.
The new Converted Academy Status provides for greater autonomy to meet the needs of the students in the school. The “Top Slice” of the education budget is not taken by the local authority but given to the school by Central Government. The school is then responsible for delivering the services that are needed. The amount top sliced is about 10% of the school’s budget.
As an Academy we would be required to offer a broad and balanced curriculum, including maths, English and science. We would not be required to adopt the National Curriculum. These flexibilities may allow teachers professional judgement in the topics and contexts to teach in their subjects and may allow students access to greater personalised routes and opportunities.
Academies have control of all of their spending. We would be better able to ensure our focus and investment in the core business of a school – teaching and learning. We would be better able to ensure better value for money and in the services that we choose to buy in to support the our students and school community.
We will have greater accountability to central government; we will need to meet additional costs such as maternity leave costs, accountancy support and accounts filing.