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Academy Consultation Meeting for Parents: 10 th March 2011 Agenda 1.Presentation from Dr Swatland, Head Teacher 2.Questions to Governors and Head Teacher.

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Presentation on theme: "Academy Consultation Meeting for Parents: 10 th March 2011 Agenda 1.Presentation from Dr Swatland, Head Teacher 2.Questions to Governors and Head Teacher."— Presentation transcript:

1 Academy Consultation Meeting for Parents: 10 th March 2011 Agenda 1.Presentation from Dr Swatland, Head Teacher 2.Questions to Governors and Head Teacher Balgowan Primary School

2 Dispelling a Myth! Our Academy consultation is quite separate from any of the current academy developments at local Beckenham secondary schools There are two types of Academy:- 1. Type 1 Academies -set up by the previous government to improve secondary schools. They have to have a sponsor, such as Harris or Oasis. 2. Type 2 Academies -set up by the 2010 act initially for successful primary and secondary schools. There is no requirement for a sponsor. It is the Type 2 Academy that governors are consulting about - an independent primary academy.

3 Background Key Government Policy-all schools to become Academies or free schools in the next few years Over 400 Academies so far and many more in the pipeline. N.B. Bromley-all but one secondary school are likely to be academies by September, and at least 15 primaries have declared they are considering academy status.

4 Background Local Authority cutbacks (25% +) and services threatened, with LA’s becoming commissioners of services and a champion for vulnerable children Funding implications for schools- loss/reduction in grants and increasing costs of services to schools Cost pressures on Balgowan will be approximately an additional £130K in 2011-12.

5 5 Background The government claims that the front line delivery of education is “protected” BUT:- 1. Additional grants will be cut and absorbed into main school budgets 2.Harnessing Technology (LGFL) cut by 50% (£9K for Balgowan from April 2011) 3.Reduced capital funding for maintenance and repair (down 80% or £47K to £11K from April 2011.)

6 6 Primary Role of the LA Children’s safety Attainment and progress of pupils-commission school improvement from schools. School admissions and strategic planning for pupil numbers Support for SEN pupils So the role of the L.A. will be tighter and sharper.

7 What does Academy mean? Free, all ability state funded school independent of LA control, governed and run by a Trust made up of educationalists and members of the community (i.e. school governors/school staff) The new Type 2 Academies are very different from older Secondary School Academies (Type 1 Academies-sponsor was needed.) Accountable to the Department for Education New freedoms for Academies

8 What are these new freedoms? Freedom from the National curriculum -but we already have flexibility over the curriculum and are not sure exactly what the curriculum freedoms will amount to especially in the light of the Government’s on going review of the National Curriculum Freedom to take decisions about delivery and prioritisation of services to suit pupils at our school as academies are given their money which is currently retained by the LA- currently around £200K Freedom from local bureaucracy and administration Ability to set pay and conditions for staff (N.B governors have already made an undertaking that they would not change staff terms/conditions/pay.)

9 9 What would it mean for admissions? Existing admissions arrangements would continue The 2010 Academies Act specifically states that with the exception of schools which were selective before they converted to academy status, academies must provide ‘education for pupils of different abilities’ There would be no change at Balgowan and we would continue to admit children according to our current admissions criteria-so there would be no selection of pupils We would continue take local Beckenham children.

10 10 The Rationale for becoming an Academy Continue to raise academic attainment for pupils as the school would have more flexibility on targeting our financial resources. Enhanced opportunity to develop a new creative curriculum and resource it Supporting a less successful school, which would provide further staff development opportunities

11 11 Becoming an academy would help to protect our services to children in a time of unprecedented pressure on school budgets. Our additional budget pressures from April are around £130K (local/national cuts of 1.5% plus increased costs), and we may not have the money meet them all if we stay as a community school. N.B. our per pupil funding is the 7 th lowest for Bromley Primary schools. We receive £2757 per pupil compared with £5990 at the best funded school. The average funding is £3627 per primary pupil which is still £870 more than we get!

12 12 Our additional budget pressures from April are around £130K. 1. Funding reductions 1.5% reduction of school budget £25K+ 80% reduction in Capital £47K Total (known so far) £72K +

13 13 2. Increased costs 7% increase in pension costs for support staff in pensions scheme £11K LGFL(broadband/email/resources) £9k Funding for third reception teacher For 4 months (maybe be refunded Retrospectively) £6K Teachers pay progression (2011-12) £31K Increased service costs, including new sold services Awaiting charges from LA Total (so far) £57K (£51K)

14 14 Summary Funding pressures from April: £129K+ Our 2011-12 Budget together with reserves is not sufficient to meet these cost pressures. Our £11K capital funding does not go far in the light of £37K+ worth of urgent work needing doing to our Listed school building. There is additionally over £250,000 of roofing work that has to be done over the next few years! Therefore the additional funding and the flexibility to spend our budget to benefit our pupils and the building are the key reasons for considering Academy Status.

15 Academy the detail The Governing Body becomes the board/directors of the Academy Trust Company Can mirror current GB composition Governors set the strategy and challenge as they do in their current role All staff transfer with the same terms and conditions from Bromley to the new Academy (TUPE) which becomes the employer (N.B. This is the situation already in Foundation Schools.)

16 Funding Direct from central government (no LA top- slicing) – approximately £200,000 plus £25k grant for conversion costs Capital Funding-central pot Assets secured for the Academy- usually 125 year lease from Bromley.

17 17 Critics of Academies claim that there will be a negative impact on other schools Claimed to divert money from the LA and disadvantage schools remaining in the LA. (Almost all Bromley secondary schools are intending to become academies as are an increasing number of primaries.) Claim to disadvantage other schools by cherry picking the best pupils (Primary admission criteria will not be changing.)

18 18 Losses from being outside of local authority control Less support and guidance for schools (But the LA will have drastically reduced resources in the next few years and will be selling almost all its services to all schools!) Schools having to procure services that were previously organised by the local authority (we currently buy services from the LA and outside.)

19 19 Current Sold Services-Balgowan Cleaning-via LA-private contractor Grounds- via LA-private contractor Premises-Private contractor(SJH) and LA sold services Refuse/recycling-Private contractor Insurance-via LA Human Resources-Bromley HR Payroll-Private contractor (Capita) Financial support-LA-but a very small contract as our finance Officer is a trained accountant I.T. –Private contractor (SNS) Training, including governor training/support (CPD)-LA EAL support-LA SEN specialist support-learning-LA

20 20 New Sold Services for all schools So far we know about:- Behaviour Support School improvement-termly visit from our link inspector There are not many other services we would need to buy.

21 21 Other additional costs currently met by LA Maternity pay-school would set up a budget area for this as we currently do for staff sickness. Premature retirement and redundancy (this has not been an issue at Balgowan in the past) Cost of annual financial audit which all academies must commission VAT-academies currently receive a VAT grant Pension deficit-support staff in the local government scheme and all schools are liable N.B If the governors apply to convert they will carry out a full cost analysis.

22 Relationship with other schools and the LA We currently have excellent relationships with local secondary and primary schools in the borough. Should we become an academy we would continue to build on these. We would continue to be a supportive member of Bromley schools and will continue to work with the LA where appropriate.

23 Who makes the decision? After considering all the consultation responses the Governing Body will decide whether to pass a resolution to convert to academy status The Governors hope to be in a position to make a decision before Easter

24 The process Register interest with DfE (Done) Governing Body passes resolution after consultation Apply to convert to an academy with the DfE Cost vs benefit analysis Engage Legal and other support as needed 3-4 months is typical process-Sept 2011

25 Making Sense of the Opportunity Benefits of Academy Status  Autonomy -from Local Authority control  Independence - increased funding directly to the Academy, the Academy decides what to spend the money on  Flexibility - set our own agenda and Curriculum  Control - our premises and destiny!

26 26 Your children’s education is an over-riding consideration in deciding whether our school becomes an academy.

27 27 September 2007: I would like to see Balgowan become an outstanding school in which: All children: Achieve the highest possible standards (appropriate to each pupil’s abilities) in a stimulating and friendly environment Are happy, secure, well behaved and keen to learn Have equal access to an exciting, broad and balanced curriculum Work independently or in a team to investigate, interpret and solve problems. Are able to participate in an expanding range of extra curricular activities Cooperate fully with all members of the school community, Can use ICT competently to further their own learning

28 28 Balgowan has high expectations and its ethos both encourages and promotes the best traditional values. Achieving high levels of literacy and numeracy for all our pupils continue to be key priorities for the school, but our commitment to encouraging them to “ work hard “, “ be kind “ and “ make friends “ provides us with an important focus for developing the whole child. School Prospectus

29 29 Our main aims are: To provide a broad and balanced education so that every pupil achieves his or her full potential. To ensure that pupils enjoy learning, feel confident, and are equally valued and fully inclusive participators in all areas of school learning. To encourage promote and secure for all pupils the experience of success and genuine achievement and to instil in them the importance of striving to attain the highest possible standards of performance at all times. Governors’ Aims for the School

30 30 To provide a high quality education for your children, adequate resources (human, financial, material) are essential. How do we ensure we have adequate resources in a climate of budget cuts and increasing cost pressures on schools? Becoming an academy could be part of the answer. It has many risks, but doing nothing could carry greater risks in terms of achieving our aims for our children.

31 31 Questions Parents are invited to ask questions regarding academy status.

32 32 What next? Written feedback requested to the Clerk of Governors by 18 th March. All information will be on the school website. Governing Body to meet before the end of term to make a decision on the basis of the available information.

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