Edwalton Primary School: some key questions and answers

Edwalton Primary School is currently consulting over becoming an academy as part of the Flying High Trust – there is an important meeting for parents on Wednesday evening. Here some key questions for parents, governors and the Trust are posed with our suggested responses. If you agree, disagree or would like a fuller, more open debate, please comment on this post. You can do so anonymously by clicking on the ‘Contribute’ button on the Home Page – we undertake not to disclose your identity or email address when we post your comments.

We say: the Governors should reject the move to an academy; they should at least delay their decision so that a fuller, better-informed debate can take place and, ultimately, all parents and staff get a chance to take part in a secret ballot to determine their views.

EDWALTON PRIMARY ACADEMY PLANS

Why the Governors should say NO ACADEMY

■ “Controversial”
■ “Unproven”
■ “No funding advantage
    to being an academy”
■ “No educational advantage to being an academy”

These are the facts about academies.

Hands Of Our Schools says: look at the facts and say NO to the Edwalton Primary Academy.

QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT                   WHAT THE FACTS REALLY SAY ABOUT
BE ASKING                                          ACADEMIES

Isn’t it true that academy schools give children a better education?
The facts suggest NO

“Current evidence does not prove that academies raise standards overall or for disadvantaged children”
All-Party Select Committee of MPs, Jan 2015

Rushcliffe and W. Bridgford schools are outstanding. Doesn’t that prove how good academies are? The facts suggest NO

“The rate of improvement in GCSE results in Local Authority secondaries was twice that of converter academies”
Ofsted’s Annual Report for 2013/14

Don’t schools get more autonomy by converting to an academy trust? The facts suggest NO

“One paradox of the
academy programme is that for schools in chains it may well lead to less autonomy at the school level”
All-Party Select Committee of MPs, Jan 2015

Won’t freeing the school from the council help us collaborate with other schools as part of Flying High Trust?The facts suggest NO

“…we recognised the critical role of local authorities in creating an enabling environment within which collaboration can flourish”.
All-Party Select Committee of MPs, Jan 2015

Can academies help make sure all our schools do as well as the best- performing countries like Finland? The facts suggest NO

“Finland has rejected the idea that more ‘school choice’ will improve the system; when you have increasing number of academies, you have less collaboration between schools”
Dr Pasi Sahlberg, Finnish Ministry of Education

Won’t becoming an academy “secure greater accountability” for staff and parents? The facts suggest NO

“Parents are sidelined from all important decisions, over whether schools convert in the first place, and over how they’re run once they become academies”

From All-Party Select Committee Report, Jan 2015

Won’t parents and staff have as many rights as they do now if the schools become academies? The facts suggest NO

“…Governors cannot be expected to be self-critical to the degree that might be required and there is a real danger that children are not adequately safeguarded by this system”, “…there was weakness and confusion for parents in the system”

From All-Party Select Committee Report, Jan 2015

Won’t the school be better-off? Notts. County Council won’t be able to withhold the “top-slice” portion The facts suggest NO

The council provides the school 1.3 million pounds a year. Of this it keeps back £4200 which represents only 0.3% of the budget. (From Nottinghamshire County Council) 

Under the proposal all the money would be transferred to Flying High Trust, and FHT would decide how much money to keep for its own “top-slice”

From Edwalton Consultation information

Can we trust academy governors when they are given control over school budgets? The facts suggest NO

“Nearly half of academy trusts have paid millions of pounds in public money towards the private businesses of directors, trustees and relatives” Investigation by the National Audit Office, 2014 “Conflicts of interest in trusts is a real issue”

All-Party Select Committee of MPs, Jan 2015

Won’t we get more freedom to buy our support services from whoever we choose?The facts suggest NO

“All schools in the county, regardless of their status, are free to buy support services from any provider” Nottinghamshire County Council

Isn’t it true that most schools have become academies already? The facts suggest NO

Only a fifth of schools in England have become academies. Only 1 in 7 Primaries have converted.

Facts from All-Party Select Committee, Jan 2015

Weren’t the Governors just following normal practice when they voted to apply for Academy status without asking parents first? The facts suggest NO

“Conversion to academy status is a significant step” … “No governing body should submit an application unless and until they have consulted”

Advice from the National Governors’ Association

Right or wrong?

Give parents a vote on the Edwalton Primary Academy Plan

For more information, or to have your say, search this site! http://nottsantiacademies.org

Email: nottshandsoffourschools@hotmail.co.uk

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