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Academy status for schools - What does it mean for teachers? A presentation to: _________ By: _____________________ Date: ___________________.

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Presentation on theme: "Academy status for schools - What does it mean for teachers? A presentation to: _________ By: _____________________ Date: ___________________."— Presentation transcript:

1 Academy status for schools - What does it mean for teachers? A presentation to: _________ By: _____________________ Date: ___________________

2 2 What are Academies? Academies are state funded independent schools. The first academies opened in 2002 under the Labour Government who believed academies could raise academic attainment in schools in the most challenging circumstances. The coalition Government fast-tracked the Academies Act 2010 through Parliament shortly after it came to power..

3 3 Con-Dem Academies The first new academies opened in September 2010 and “outstanding” schools were the first to gain academy status. The coalition government wants all schools eventually to be academies or free schools. Any school, that is “doing well” can now apply for academy status. Other schools may be forced to close and reopened as academies if they are deemed by the Government to be “failing”.

4 4 Teachers in Academies (1) Academies are outside national terms and conditions of employment and no longer have to follow LA policies such as maternity rights, leave of absence etc. Transferred staff have some protection under the TUPE Regulations but new staff can be employed under different academy contracts - some academies have longer working time provisions or worse sickness and maternity benefits compared to national arrangements. This threatens national collective bargaining, establishes a two tier workforce and undermines teacher unity.

5 5 Teachers in Academies (2) A two-tier workforce means one contract for TUPE transferred staff and a different academy contract for new staff. Beware proposals to “harmonise” arrangements by changing the contracts of transferred staff - this could mean longer hours, changes to pay policy etc. Transferred staff should resist pressure to sign new contracts and give away protected rights – there is no obligation to do this.

6 6 NUT Academy Survey (2011) More than a quarter of respondents (28%) said they had not been consulted on whether their school should become an academy. Many commented on top heavy management structures and constant restructuring after conversion with changes to staffing structures, teachers’ roles and responsibilities and working conditions. Respondents said academies were relying heavily on NQT’s and making greater use of unqualified teaching assistants rather than more experienced teachers. There were concerns over the treatment of older teachers.

7 7 NUT Academy Survey (2011) Many teachers (43%) who had transferred to the Academy said that there had been pressure or inducements to accept new contracts. Almost half (49%) said there had been changes to the length of the school day and of these, 71% said that pay had not increased to reflect the longer working day. Almost two thirds (65%) said that workload had increased since the school became an Academy with 82% saying they were working additional hours outside the school day.

8 8 Academy Funding (1) Academies keep an amount of money in respect of central services previously provided by LAs. They can either “buy back” these services from the LA or buy them elsewhere.

9 9 LA Services Rebuild after damage from storm or fire EAL Support Legal Cover SEN Support The EDC Behaviour Support School Improvement Data analysis Financial and budgeting support Payroll and Pensions Legal Cover SEN Support Governor support

10 10 Academy Funding (2) Buying these services from the LA may cost more in the future because the LA may not have the same economies of scale. The LA may not be able to continue to provide specialist staff if it doesn’t have a secure funding stream.

11 11 Academy Funding (3) The services may well cost more when bought from the private sector. Even if private companies provide them more cheaply initially, these “loss leader” offers won’t be available for ever. The private sector can’t match the LA expertise and experience when serious problems arise.

12 12 NUT Concerns (1) Changing the status of a school does not raise standards – to do that the Government needs to target resources on teaching and learning. Academies control their own admissions. If all schools manage their own admissions this could make school place planning chaotic and unfair. The academy programme transfers public assets to private ownership – the school’s land, buildings and contents are transferred to the sponsor or Academy Trust on a 125-year lease.

13 13 NUT Concerns (2) Academies are not democratically accountable to the community through elected local authorities. Apart from just two elected parent governors, governors are appointed by the Academy Trust or Sponsor. There is no automatic place on an academy governing body for teacher or staff governors, local authority or community governors. Academies will further fragment education provision making it harder to plan and deliver resources to schools and communities fairly and according to need.

14 14 Resisting academy status (1) The governors take the decision on whether to apply to the Government to become an academy. They don’t have to consult staff first although the NUT would argue that there should be consultation before any decision is taken. It is important to take steps to prevent your school becoming an academy before the governors make any moves in this direction.

15 15 Resisting academy status (2) Discuss academy status and what it will mean for teachers and the school community. Pass the NUT model resolution against academy conversion for your school (or a similar resolution). Ask all teachers and school staff to sign the joint union letter against transfer to academy status and forward this with the model motion to the Chair of Governors.

16 16 Resisting academy status (3) Ask the governors to pass the joint unions’ model resolution against academy transfer. Involve teacher and staff reps on the governing body in this process. Try to engage parent governors, the PTA and the wider parent group to oppose academy status.

17 17 Resisting academy status (4) Recruit teachers who are not in a union to the NUT. If you haven’t got an NUT Rep – elect one now. Don’t leave it to others - the strength of the union and any campaign against academy status will depend upon all members being active. Keep your Division/Association and Regional Office informed of what is happening in your school and seek advice and support from them.

18 18 But Remember ! The NUT is the union for all qualified teachers – whether in community schools or academies. Whether or not your school becomes an academy you should continue to recruit and build the NUT as the way to preserve the best possible terms and conditions of employment. The NUT is your union. A collective voice in each school is vital in promoting the interests of teachers and the teaching profession. Your Division/Association and Regional Office are there to support you.

19 19 Keep in touch Keep your Division/Association in touch with developments in your school. Contact if you would like campaigning Check the NUT website for latest updates and materials.


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