What is an Academy? - Ullswater Community College

Ullswater Community College
Academy Status
March 2014
March 2014
The last four years
UCC has improved its results from 42% 5+A*-C E/m to 66%
From 54% 5+ A*-C to 96%
From the bottom 10% of schools to the top 10%
Vocational provision ensures that all students feel there is an
appropriate course to suit their interests
• The quality of teaching and learning across the college is now
excellent, with 86% of lessons judged good or outstanding
• The school curriculum at all key stages is outstanding
• Ofsted criteria from ‘Notice to Improve’ to ‘Good’ with
outstanding features
…so, what about the next four years?
• Improvements in the quality of education need to be
just as dramatic in the next four years as they have
been over the last four…
Where are we now?
• UCC is a Foundation school
• UCC acquired Foundation Status in September 2002
• The Governing Body owns all of the school land and
• The Governing Body is already the employer and has
been able to determine terms, conditions and pay
scales for all employees
What is an Academy?
• In very basic terms, Academies are independent
state-funded schools
• Academies employ their staff, own their own land,
procure goods and services direct with suppliers and
generally have complete control of the daily workings
of the school
What is an Academy? - continued
• In addition, Academy status allows the school’s
senior leadership team and the Governors to control
the ethos and culture of the school, including what is
taught and how it is taught
• Whilst Academies remain within the overall
legislative framework governing state schools, such
as complying with the Admissions Code, day-to-day
decisions about the culture of the school are entirely
controlled by the school itself
Why become an Academy?
• For many schools the simple answer is freedom
• For others, it is a financial consideration
• Still others see Academy status as inevitable and
wish to be in at the beginning whilst there are still
grants available to assist with the cost of conversion
• Whatever the reason, the number of Academies is
growing rapidly
• Currently over 900 sponsored Academies and over
2500 convertor Academies
Is conversion right for UCC?
• The Local Authority (LA) is now too small to assist in
school development
• As more schools convert, the LA will become
increasing less able support those remaining
• We can either choose to act now or wait until we are
forced into a position where we have to convert
(>60% of secondary schools are now Academies)
• All political parties seem to support Academy status
How does conversion work?
• At present, Schools rated by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’
or ‘good’ with ‘outstanding’ features are able to
apply in their own right
• All other schools can apply if they formally partner
with schools able to apply in their own right or if
they are sponsored. We already have sponsor status
• The process begins with a decision by the Governing
Body (5 February 2014)
How does conversion work? - continued
• The next step is to make an application to the
Department for Education
• If the School passes the assessments undertaken by
the Department then an Academy Order will be
made, confirming that the School can convert to an
• The granting of the Academy Order is the point at
which converting schools have to deal with the legal
red tape of conversion
Overall process typically takes between 3 and 4 months
1. Schools register interest using the on-line form
2. A named contact in the Department for Education (DfE) contacts
the school and supports through the conversion process
3. School Governing Body starts the consultation required by
legislation with interested parties (can start later but must be
completed before Funding Agreement)
Application to
Becoming an
conversion process
1. School Governing Body and Foundation (where relevant) pass a resolution in favour of Academy
2. School submits Application to Convert form to DfE
3. Schools develop plans to support another school to raise standards and discuss with named DfE contact
4. Local Authority/Governing Body start the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) -TUPE process
5. Secretary of State approves school proposal and issues Academy Order
1. School submits grant claim to DfE and receives £25,000 grant to cover costs
associated with the conversion process
2. School finalises governance documents based on DfE model documents provided
3. School registers the Academy Trust with Companies House
4. School agrees leasing arrangements for the school land and buildings
5. Local Authority/Governing Body complete the TUPE process
6. School completes required consultation with interested parties
7. School submits the Funding Agreement to the Secretary of State for approval
Pre-opening opening
1. Education Funding Agency (EFA) provides school with indicative
funding letter
2. DfE signs and seals Academy funding agreement
3. School undertakes Disclosure and Barring (DBS) checks as necessary
4. School puts new financial systems and contracts in place
5. School completes academy registrations, e.g. with exam bodies
6. School opens officially as an Academy
What happens when UCC becomes an
• Ownership of the land and buildings transfers from
the Governing Body to the Academy Trust
• All employees transfer to the Academy Trust under
the Transfer of Undertaking (Protection of
Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE 2006) – better
known as the TUPE Regulations
• None of this will affect the current operations of the
So why become an Academy?
• UCC will be able to operate independently from the
Local Education Authority (LEA)
• UCC will benefit financially in terms of the budget
allocations received. Currently the LEA top-slices our
budget and keeps 8% of the overall budget to cover
“central services”
• This amounts to £488,000
What happens next?
• Consultation with professional associations in
respect of TUPE will take place, even though there
are no measures proposed to change terms and
conditions, as this is good practice
• Solicitors will be appointed to manage the TUPE
• Consultation with parents takes place
How has all this come about?
• UCC has made more progress than most secondary
schools nationally and its ethos and practices are not
under threat
• Our results and performance have attracted interest
from key national figures including Nick Gibb MP, Sir
Chris Woodhead, senior figures at the Department
for Education and Michael Gove (Secretary of State
for Education)
How has all this come about?
• All at UCC want to see as much progress over the
next four years as we have seen in the last four years
• There is a need for radical improvement in support
for failing schools
• The relationship with Sir Chris Woodhead developed
over the last 20 years through Nelson Thomlinson
School and The University of Buckingham
Academy governance models
Single Academy Trust
• There is only one school in a Single Academy Trust,
which is governed by one set of Articles and a
funding agreement between the Academy and the
Secretary of State
Single Academy Trust
Academy governance models
Multi-academy Trust
• There is only one legal entity accountable for all
schools in the chain – the Multi-academy Trust
• The MAT has one set of Articles that governs all the
academies in that chain. The MAT has a master
funding agreement with the Secretary of State. Each
academy also has a supplementary funding
Academy governance models
Multi-academy Trust
Multi-academy Trust (MAT)
Academy 1
Academy 2
Academy 3
Local Governing
Body/Advisory Body
Local Governing
Body/Advisory Body
Local Governing
Body/Advisory Body
Who is involved?
• The Multi Academy Trust proposal draws on the
progress made by UCC to support other schools who
agree to become part of this Trust.
• Those individuals who have agreed to be part of this
proposal are as follows:
Sir Christopher Woodhead: HMCI 1994-2000
Dominic Shorthouse: Private investor, Founder of Englefield Capital LLP
Chris Cooper-Hohn: Hedge fund manager, The Children’s Investment Fund
Peter Ireland: Dean of Education, Buckingham University, former Headteacher of Nelson Thomlinson
School, Wigton
Nigel Pattinson: Headteacher, Ullswater Community College
Ullswater Community College governors
Mike Raleigh: Education consultant working with DfE on academies, Ex senior HMI. Ex Deputy Chief
Education Officer, Shropshire
Elisabeth Linley, SIS Inspector, Ex-HMI
Christine Jones, SIS Inspector, Ex-HMI
Peter Limm, SIS Inspector, Ex-HMI
Simon Bennett, SIS Inspector, Ex-HMI
Martin Bradley, SIS Inspector, Ex-HMI
Ted Cohn, SIS Inspector, Ex-HMI
How would this work?
• UCC would be the flagship school in Cumbria
• The current Headteacher would be the lead on
school improvement across the Trust
• Capacity to support would involve restructuring the
senior management team; finance for this will be
through the Trust
• The DfE has already agreed £103,000 to support the
formation of the Trust
• Business support, admin support, IT support, graphic
design support would be paid for through the Trust
What are the drawbacks?
• Increased commitment to other schools
• Change in responsibilities for key staff
What benefits would there be for UCC?
• Profile of the school
• Investment in staff capacity
• Experience of school improvement for a wide variety
of staff
• Expertise from support officers and leading experts
in teaching and learning
• Engagement with other schools and ideas
• Potential investment in resources/capital build
• Nationally important role for UCC

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