Staff Meeting 28-8-13

Academy Consultation
Should Rushey Mead School become an academy?
Presentation to staff
28th August to Oct 4th
 The Governing Body of Rushey Mead School is exploring
whether to convert to Academy status.
 Any decision on whether or not to finally convert to
Academy status will be taken by the Governing Body
based on what is considered best for our school, our
students, staff and the wider community.
 As part of the decision making process the Governing
Body is committed to undertaking full consultation with
our stakeholders and will take their views into account
before any final decision is taken.
 The Governors also need to carefully examine wider
financial and legal issues, especially surrounding BSF.
 The BSF capital fund, which was funded by the previous
Labour government as a lump sum for Leicester
Secondary schools, has given us a wonderful new site and
it is vital that we protect this resource for our community.
Academy Consultation
 The consultation period will run from 8am on 28th August until 5pm
on 4th October 2013.
 The Governing Bodies are consulting with all our stakeholders
 Parents (existing and new)
 Students
 Staff including Staff unions and associations
 The wider local community including voluntary groups associated
with the School
Formal stakeholder consultation opens:
8am, Wednesday 28th August 2013
August, 2.30pm
4th September,
10th September,
Presentation and information to staff
Staff Forum/Question & Answer workshop
Staff Forum/Question and Answer workshop
August, 6pm
Tuesday 17th
Presentation/Question and Answer workshop
Presentation/Question and Answer workshop
Wider Community Groups
September, 10am
Presentation/Question and Answer
Through assemblies
Student Council
Friday 4th
October, 5pm
Monday 14th
October, 6pm
Formal Consultation period closes
Full Governing Body meeting to consider stakeholder
consultation responses and agree whether
to continue with conversion.
What is an Academy?
 An Academy is a state school, which operates
independently within the requirements of national codes
of practice for state schools, funded directly by the
Department for Education, instead of the Local Authority,
and as a result directly receives the money that the Local
Authority has previously spent on its behalf, giving the
school more control over its funding and decision making.
What are Converter Academies?
 In the previous administration academies were
transformational academies, i.e. schools with significant
issues, who were persuaded by the previous government
into transforming. They often had radically different
structures, staffing, timetables etc.
 What we are examining is a converter academy route.
This is when good or outstanding schools convert to
academies, taking their schools through a process which
in nearly all cases requires no changes for staff or
students bar the actual accountability which becomes
direct to the governors rather than the LA.
Sustainability rather than change
 An Academy would still be bound by the statutory codes
for Special Educational Needs and the Admissions criteria
and catchment area would remain unchanged.
 Just being an academy would bring no change to the start
and finish times or length of the school day and no
change to the school’s policy on student behaviour or the
school uniform.
Current statistics
 As of 1 July 2013, there were 3,049 academies open in
 Nationally 69% of outstanding secondary schools, are
currently academies with a significant number in the
process of converting.
 Leicestershire secondary schools and many primaries are
largely academies.
 Leicester City currently has 1 transformational , 5
converter academies, 4 primaries and 1 Special school,
with others in discussion.
Factors for RMS to consider
 We have a number of factors to consider but
fundamentally the most important things is to work in the
interests of our young people.
 Rushey Mead School is an outstanding school, a Teaching
School, the home of the SCITT and with a great team of
staff , wonderful students and a very supportive
 Whatever decision is made this is what we want to
sustain and protect.
Ethos and Values
 Rushey Mead School will not change its ethos and for
parents, students and staff how we run will be very much
the same.
 Our school motto is ‘Make a Positive Difference’ and we
are fully committed to continuing to uphold this.
 We will continue to work in close partnership with our
local schools and community and support other schools
in raising standards
 The Governing Body of our school is committed to
ensuring that pay and condition for staff track national
agreements .
Other Factors to consider
 Curriculum freedom but tempered by accountability
 Autonomy as a school
 Business factors such as the Teaching School and SCITTrunning these through company structures.
One key factor to consider
 In uncertain financial times as an academy we would have
greater control over our finances and over the funding for
Rushey Mead School.
 Funding for maintained schools have historically been routed
through Local Authorities who have ‘top sliced to construct
and deliver support services, such as legal advice, across all
maintained schools. LAs are adapting to a new climate by
selling services in packages. NB So even remaining as we are
and not moving to become an Academy the Local Authority
would look different in the future than it does today.
 There are some services which we would buy back from the
Local Authority out of this additional funding, such as payroll,
Health and Safety etc.
Simon Catchpole
On behalf of the Governors Finance Sub Committee
Rushey Mead Budget Projections
 Historically, budget has been very healthy.
 Including BSF ‘War Chest’ there had been a
carry forward of approx. £1m
 Governors concerned when given projections
showing deficit within few years – wanted to
know why?
 Governors Hypothesis – 2 things had changed
for RM – BSF and Teaching School, was it one
or the other or both? Or other factors?
Mr Micawber's famous, and oft-quoted, recipe for happiness:
 . "Annual income twenty pounds:
annual expenditure nineteen pounds
nineteen shillings and six pence –
result happiness.
Annual income twenty pounds:
annual expenditure twenty pounds and
six pence, result misery."
Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
N.B. Illustration only – not to
Budgets 2013 -2014 Summary
S251 Funding
Balance / carry
Sports / Community/ Misc
Pupil Premium
BSF Costs
Teaching School
Utilities (from LCC)
N.B. Illustration only – not to
Projecting forward 2014 -15
(worst case scenarios)
BSF Costs
S251 Funding
S251 Funding
Sports / Community/ Misc
Sports / Community/ Misc
Pupil Premium
Pupil Premium
Teaching School
Teaching School
Utilities (from LCC)
Going forward
 Close monitoring of budget issues. Sub committee
will regularly report to full governors
 Recognise we are in uncertain times re funding
 Change to funding model
 May initially have more money delegated to school
 Maximise SCITT and TS contributions
 Put in place retrenchment plan
 Review Staffing structures
 Review all spending
 Investigate academy conversion for possible
though not certain benefits.
 All outstanding schools are required by Ofsted and the
DFE to support other schools.
 We have been heavily involved in this and continue to do
so as a National Support School and Teaching School.
 This has brought about measurable positive results such
as the Fullhurst work
 The schools has also benefited significantly from this
outreach in both resources and in terms of professional
development for those staff involved.
Local Solution
 Many months ago when a number of local primary
schools were deemed at risk of forced academisation, the
LA discussed with the DFE setting up a local solution for
academy sponsorship, rather than having external
sponsors ( who may have few local connections) working
with Leicester schools.
 Rushey Mead School and its Teaching School Alliance
partners were asked to set up a company entity for the
Teaching School Alliance and to use that vehicle to apply
to be a sponsor for primary academies .
 We put together the required company entity and
application. This application was refused by the DFE on
then grounds that Rushey Mead itself was not an
 A meeting between the DFE/ LA on 30th May 2013
confirmed that the Teaching School local sponsorship
option was not viable without basing this around Rushey
Mead or another school as an academy.
 Rushey Mead Governors considered whether in the light
of this, it would be beneficial for the school itself to
explore academy status
DFE statement and Information
 “Government policy is very clear. Academy status led by a strong sponsor,
whether an existing Academy sponsor or a high performing Academy, is the
best way of providing quick and sustainable improvement. There is a large
body of evidence, both from pupil performance and independent reports that
shows the sponsored Academy model is working.
 Rushey Mead School, as an outstanding school, would be ideally placed to act
as a sponsor for local schools. The DfE expects any school which wishes to be
an academy sponsor to be high-performing and to become an academy
itself. The Teaching School Company cannot become an academy sponsor
because of the legal requirements around companies set up by maintained
 We welcome local sponsors like Rushey Mead School, familiar with the
challenges of underperforming schools and who have a track record of working
effectively with other local schools. In fact, a study by The Schools Network
published in March 2012 has found that almost all schools have maintained or
improved their relationships with other schools since becoming an Academy"
Process to date
 Governors held an Information meeting on academies to
examine pros and cons
 Governors at 2nd meeting debate pros and cons of
possible academy status for Rushey Mead School.
 Governors agree resolution to explore further via
applying for £25,000 funding through application to the
DFE for a provisional Academy Order
 Academy order application submitted in July
 1st August Academy Order granted by DFE in
 principle and £25,000 funding made available
 DFE Project lead allocated.
 Legal firm commissioned to undertake exploratory work,
especially around contracts and BSF
 RMS is not obligated to become an Academy unless and until a
contract between the governing body and the Department for
Education, known as the Funding Agreement, is signed.
 The governing body has not even begun to negotiate the
Funding Agreement with the DfE yet, and will not sign any
such agreement until staff, pupils and the wider community
have had chance to comment on the proposals.
 The governing body will not sign any Funding Agreement
unless they are content that conversion would be in the
interests of the school taking account of all of the legal and
practical ramifications.
 On the website and will be updated each week to
respond top questions or additional information as it is
made available.
Consultation consensus
 Let’s all agree to do the best for the school
 Let’s have proper consultation so that accompanied by
the legal and financial information the Governing Body
can make the right decisions.
 Let’s behave with integrity and professionally.
 Let’s have facts not myths and fiction!
 Let’s all continue to support the community of other

similar documents