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Academies – A briefing for C.E. schools within the Dioceses of Durham and Newcastle.

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Presentation on theme: "Academies – A briefing for C.E. schools within the Dioceses of Durham and Newcastle."— Presentation transcript:

1 Academies – A briefing for C.E. schools within the Dioceses of Durham and Newcastle

2 Academies  Academies are publicly funded independent state schools.  Funding comes directly from central government rather than via the Local Authority.  The Governing Body decides whether to apply.  But, for CE schools, the Diocesan Board must approve.  Conversion to academy status is irreversible.

3 What’s different about Academies? Differences from other schools  Freedoms  Governance  Accountability  Funding....and what stays the same  Laws on admissions, exclusions and SEN  Partnership and collaboration  Inspection  Not for profit

4 Freedoms: Facts Academies have freedom  from Local Authority ‘control’.  to adapt or vary the National Curriculum.  to vary pay and conditions for staff.  to change length/timing of school day/term/year.  to choose their provider across a wider range of services.

5 Freedoms: Issues  Schools are already largely self-managing.  Academies must still comply with the law on admissions, SEN and exclusions.  Converting schools are normally expected to partner a less successful school.

6 Governance: Facts  Academies are companies limited by guarantee and are charitable trusts.  Members of the company are guarantors not shareholders.  Governors are directors of the company and trustees of the charity.  The academy company is the admissions authority, employs school staff and owns the premises.  The academy company is accountable for standards and attainment.

7 The Academy Company Members Governors who become Company Directors and Charity Trustees

8 Governance: Issues  Governing Bodies may be smaller with fewer elected parents or staff reps.  Members may appoint governors to maintain majority.  Levels of delegation to governors from members may vary.  Academy members’ liability is up to £10 per head.  Governors’ (as Directors) liability is unlimited; the Trust must provide indemnity insurance.

9 Accountability: Facts  Academies are independent of Local Authority ‘control’.  They are ultimately responsible to the Secretary of State and the Education Funding Agency.  Funding agreement sets out obligations.  They are still subject to primary legislation covering e.g. employment, health & safety and equalities.

10 Accountability: Issues  Schools are already largely autonomous; the LA does not exert operational control over day to day running.  An academy will have fewer links with the local democratic decision making process.  LA councillors will have less influence if parents complain.  Reduced support from LA if problems occur: may be purchased but may no longer be available.

11 Curriculum: Facts and Issues Fact  Academy must provide a ‘broad and balanced’ curriculum but can vary or adapt the National Curriculum. Issue  How to maintain continuity from phase to phase of schooling.

12 Staffing: Facts  On conversion staff will TUPE on current terms and conditions.  Academies can later choose to change contracts and set own pay structures.  Increased employers’ contribution for non- teaching pensions.  Must offer access to national pension schemes to staff.

13 Staffing: Issues  Each school establishes own arrangements for salary negotiation.  Newly appointed staff are not automatically employed on national pay and conditions.  Academy must manage staff response to any proposed changes in pay and conditions.

14 Premises: Facts  Academy owns and manages premises.  CE Schools converting need a “licence to occupy” their buildings.  VA schools converting will no longer have to find 10% contribution to capital projects.

15 Premises: Issues  No automatic access to LA expertise and support in event of problems or critical events.  May have to use contractors with no detailed knowledge of buildings.  Academies assume responsibility and liability for day to day management of premises including H&S and asbestos.  No guarantee of capital levels in future: current applications very oversubscribed.

16 The Principle of Funding  Becoming an academy “should not bring about a financial advantage or disadvantage to a school” (DfE).  However, academies have greater freedoms on how they use their budgets.  This is specifically in relation to the top-up funding they receive to meet additional responsibilities that are no longer provided for them by the Local Authority.

17 How Funding is Calculated  The funding for academies comes from the DfE (via the Education Funding Agency (EFA)) in the form of a grant - the General Annual Grant (GAG).  This is calculated and paid over the academic year rather than the financial year.  It consists of two parts  an amount equivalent to the school’s current delegated budget share (by far the largest part of the GAG).  additional money (known as LACSEG) to cover those central services the Local Authority no longer provides.

18 Local Authority Central Spend Equivalent Grant (LACSEG)  This is the additional money an academy receives to cover those services no longer provided at no cost to the school by the LA.  It varies considerably from LA to LA, depending on how much each LA holds back to pay for central services.  The grant is calculated by the EFA, and has two elements:  a flat rate per pupil on roll.  an additional amount based on the number of SEN pupils on either school action or school action plus.  LACSEG is not based on the actual costs of the services currently supplied to an individual school.

19 New Responsibilities  Schools already pay for a range of services out of their delegated budget.  Academies receive extra funding (through the LACSEG) for extra responsibilities, hitherto covered by the LA.

20 Services and costs funded from a local authority’s schools budget  SEN support services.  Behaviour support services.  practical learning options.  School meals and milk.  Assessment of FSM eligibility.  Repair and maintenance of kitchens.  Museum and library services.  Licences and subscriptions.  Central staff costs (maternity, long term sickness and trade union duties).  Costs of certain employment terminations.

21 Services and costs funded from other local authority sources  Costs of LA statutory/regulatory duties.  Asset management costs.  School improvement services.  Monitoring national curriculum assessments.  Education welfare services.  Pupils’ support (e.g. clothing grants).  Music services.  Visual and performing arts services.  Outdoor education services.  Certain redundancy and early retirement costs.

22 Local Authority Retained Funding  The LA retains funding for some statutory services that it has to continue to provide.  These are:  home to school transport;  educational psychology;  SEN assessment and statementing;  monitoring of SEN provision etc.;  prosecution of parents for non-attendance;  some individually assigned SEN resources;  provision (through a PRU or education otherwise) for a pupil no longer registered at an academy.

23 Deficits and Surpluses  Deficits and surpluses transfer with the school on conversion.  If an academy opens with a deficit then the EFA would repay the Local Authority.  The academy would then be required to agree with the EFA a plan to repay it from GAG instalments.  Academies are not allowed to run a deficit without remedial action.

24 One–off Costs of Conversion  A school in the process of converting receives a one-off grant of £25K.  This is intended to cover the legal costs incurred by both the school and the Diocese, and the accountancy and project management costs incurred by the school.

25 Academy Funding in the Future  The government’s view is that the current system of school funding is too complex and unfair.  In addition, as more schools convert to academies, a system of funding based on a local authority driven formula becomes unsustainable.  The government has consulted on proposals for a new school funding formula.  The new formula would be used to calculate the budgets for academies in the area.


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