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Academies

(3 Posts)
Mishap Thu 19-Jul-12 14:47:33

We have aired a bit in this topic before, but it is top of my mind at the moment. Our wee primary (of which I am a governor) is contemplating merging with a local 4years - 16years academy in order to make sure that the LA cannot close it down at will. The head of this academy already provides executive headship for us and this has been extremely successful.

There would be other huge benefits for the school and for the teachers: sharing of specialist teachers and facilities; budgetary support; career and experience widening for staff; staff support; economies of scale when ordering items etc etc. But.....I have one squeamishness about the plan and it is difficult to put it onto words. It is really about the appropriateness of a "business" model to a service like education.

I suppose I have a bad history with this, having been working in a post which straddled health and social services at a time when privatisation, outsourcing and all that jazz hove into view and wrecked those services (in my opinion).

Does anyo0ne out there have experience that might validate or quell my concerns. The rest of the governing body are very enthusiastic and I do not want to be a thorn in anyone's side, but I do think the parents (current and future) will expect us to look at all sides of the question.

Supposing the teaching head at our school (who knows her children, parents and staff very well) wished to take a decision that was not optimal from a business point of view, but that met the needs of the children and families - might she simply be over-ruled? I think there is more to life than money and her understanding of the subtleties and psychology of a situation would win out for me any day.

Mamie Thu 19-Jul-12 14:56:58

I think it would be important to be very clear about what her role as teacher-in-charge would be and how her responsibility / accountability would work. Would your primary age children simply become part of the academy or would you stay on a separate site? I did a lot of work at one time with a cluster of tiny rural primaries with one head and half a dozen teachers-in-charge and that worked well, but was a slightly different situation from the one you describe.

Mishap Thu 19-Jul-12 16:46:49

The children would be on a separate site - indeed there is about 13 miles between the academy and our school - we live in a very rural area.

I am not sure how the agreement might be negotiated - I am feeling my way about a bit really and just airing a background concern of mine.