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Background The City Academies policy was announced by David Blunkett, the then Secretary of State for Education and Employment, in March 2000 as “a radical approach to promote greater diversity and break the cycle of failing schools in inner cities”. Academies are publicly funded independent schools, which according to the Government, are expected to have “innovative approaches to management, governance, teaching and Learning.” The Government originally said that it intended Academies to replace schools which are either in special measures or “underachieving”, or to meet a demand for places by creating new schools. In August 2006 the Times Educational Supplement (TES) revealed that none of the Academies opened so far had replaced a school in special measures despite Ministerial assurances that the initiative is designed to tackle educational failure. The TES research showed that many schools were performing well prior to becoming Academies, although they had suffered from a lack of investment. An analysis published by the Telegraph on 17 December 2006 showed that only six of 67 schools due to become Academies were in special measures. Four were CTCs and the majority of the remainder were improving, good or excellent. These findings confirm the trend that existing Academies have replaced challenging but not failing schools. There are currently 46 Academies open. The first three opened in September 2002 with nine more opening in September 2003, five opening in September 2004 and ten in September 2005. Nineteen Academies opened in September 2006.The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, is keen to extend the initiative and doubled the target of Academies to 400 at his speech to the Specialist Schools an Academies Trust Conference on 30 November 2006. If this were achieved, one in ten secondary schools would be independent Academies run by sponsors. Creating Academies in place of community or foundation schools involves the transfer of publicly funded assets to an unaccountable sponsoring body. For a contribution of around 8 per cent (maximum £2m) of the cost of building a new, or refurbishing an old school building to form an Academy, the sponsors are given control of a modern independent school set up as a company limited by guarantee. Sponsors receive the entire school budget directly from the Government. In July 2006 the Government announced measures to make it easier for private backers to sponsor Academies. Sponsorship – normally £2m will no longer have to be pledged up front to help pay for new buildings, but instead can be paid over five years for “educational
innovations”. Union policy The National Union of Teachers believes that Academies are an experiment with pupils’ education which have not been evaluated (PricewaterhouseCoopers have been commissioned by the DfES to evaluate the programme but this has not been completed.) Eight months before plans for the expansion of the Academies programme were announced, ministers were told of doubts about the scheme's ability to introduce more innovative teaching. In a report commissioned by the Government, consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) also said Academies could lead to a two-tier system based on social class and thwart the Government's policy of collaboration. Ministers, however, chose not to publish the 264-page document, the first of five planned annual reports evaluating Academies. PricewaterhouseCoopers second evaluation report was published in June 2005. A number of the areas that PWC raise concerns about have already been identified by the Union in its own monitoring of the Academies initiative. On the issue of teacher workload the report states, “Staff workload is generally heavier in Academies compared to the previous schools”. PWC also report that the mix of new staff and TUPEd staff has created significant tensions in Academies. Further challenges identified by the report include: clarifying SEN admissions policy nationally; recognition that bullying is a problem in some Academies; and the impractical design of some Academy spaces. The report also pointed to the lack of staff and teacher representation on Academy governing bodies. The third Annual Report of the PWC evaluation of Academies was published at the end of July 2006. The scope of the PWC data base is substantial, but as yet only contains hard data up to 2004. However, over time it will enable each Academy to be tracked in terms of a whole range of indicators. The current report shows that Academies are a very disparate group of schools from which few rational conclusions can be drawn. In fact, quoting Academies’ averages on whatever factor – assessment results, pupil absence, SEN percentages, free school meals, which is the tactic used by PWC and the Government - masks the huge variations in the level of challenge Academies are facing and how much progress they are making.
The report devotes a chapter to early indications of success factors, largely based on qualitative data from interviews and questionnaires, quotations, case studies and “vignettes”. The factors identified relate to school improvement generally, rather than any specific “Academy factor”. The “good news” that PWC can present in the report is very sparse. The conclusion would have to be that Academy status in itself is not the answer to addressing the needs of very challenging schools. The Education and Skills Select Committee has raised serious concerns about Academies. The Committee’s report on secondary education, published in March 2005, said that the Government’s use of Academies to serve vulnerable communities should be properly evaluated, both in respect of the performance of individual Academies and the impact on neighbouring schools, before embarking on a major expansion of an untested project. The Select Committee stated that the good results achieved by some Academies might have been gained as a result of excluding those children who were harder to teach and reducing the proportion of children in the school from deprived backgrounds. The Select Committee requested that the DfES measure consistently the proportion of pupils entitled to free school meals and the number of exclusions in Academies. King’s Academy in Middlesbrough expelled 27 pupils in the first year, compared with 10 in total by the seven maintained schools in the local authority. Another 10 were withdrawn by their parents after the threat of exclusion. West London Academy tripled exclusions to 265 in a year, with a further 20 permanent exclusions. Not all Academies offer pupil an independent appeal after being permanently excluded. There have been complaints from parents about Trinity Academy’s strict disciplinary code. They claim that it is aimed at getting rid of more difficult pupils who might damage the schools examination results. The NUT is greatly concerned over the influence that sponsors have over a school. The private sponsors that run Academies have limited or no experience in education. Academy sponsors include Christian philanthropist, Sir Peter Vardy, of Reg Vardy car dealership, Roger de Haan, Chief Executive of Saga Holidays, Amey plc, a construction and management firm and David Samworth, chairman of Samworth Brothers, a nationwide manufacturer of sausages, pies, pastries and ready meals. At the end of September 2005, the Secretary of State, Ruth Kelly, announced that teachers working in Academies would be required to be registered and regulated by the General Teaching Council, as all other teachers working in state funded schools are.
This followed joint campaigning by all of the teacher unions, diocesan authorities and parents and governors groups. It is still however, the case that principals of Academies are not required to hold the NPQH, although it is mandatory for heads in the state sector. Another key concern for the Union is the impact that Academies have on teachers’ pay and conditions. Academies’ independence and the encouragement they receive from the DfES to “innovate” in this area pose a threat to the pay and conditions of service entitlements of teachers. Whilst teachers in Academies which replace existing schools have their conditions protected on transfer, the NUT is aware that teachers newly appointed to Academies are often placed on separate contracts which involve longer working hours and less favourable working conditions. Having teachers working on different contracts and for different hours of the school day can in turn lead to a divided, two-tier workforce in Academies. Local democratic accountability would inevitably be undermined by a large number of Academies, operating as independent schools outside the aegis of the local authority. The role and influence of sponsors on the operation of governing body and on the curriculum and ethos of Academies is a further factor in undermining the democratic link. The impact of a substantial number of Academies on school admissions arrangements would be dramatic. They would undermine LEAs’ ability to plan coherent education provision, or even the viability of LEAs. In Westminster, for example the LEA is considering operating as an education trust because of the impact of the current Academies programme on its secondary schools. Academies receive disproportionate funding (inevitably at the expense of other schools). The philosophy underpinning Academies is also at odds with the Government’s “Every Child Matters” agenda, which recognises and sustains the idea that every school is at the centre of its community. The responsibilities of local authorities in terms of coordinating and encouraging provision based in schools, such as childcare, would be impossible to implement. The NUT believes that the expectations on Academies to succeed in terms of academic success and popularity with parents could well lead to more Academies using their ability to select on pupil aptitude. (Ten per cent as for all specialist schools.) This would further undermine the comprehensive principle and leave LEA schools with a disproportionate number of pupils with SEN, excluded pupils etc.
The current situation The first three Academies (The Business Academy, Bexley, Greig City Academy, Haringey and the Unity City Academy, Middlesbrough) opened in September 2002. In September 2003 nine more Academies opened their doors: Capital City Academy, Brent, The City Academy, Bristol, The West London Academy, Ealing, Manchester Academy, The King’s Academy, Middlesbrough, Djanogly City Academy, Nottingham, City of London Academy, Southwark, The Academy at Peckham and Walsall City Academy. Five Academies opened in September 2004: The London Academy, Barnet, Mossbourne Community Academy, Hackney, Stockley Academy, Hillingdon, Lambeth Academy, Lambeth and Northampton Academy, Northampton. Ten Academies opened in September 2005: Trinity Academy, Doncaster, St Paul’s Academy, Greenwich, Salford City Academy, Salford, Marlowe Academy, Kent, Harefield Academy, Hillingdon, Haberdashers’ Aske’s Knights Academy, Lewisham and Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College Academy, Lewishham (federation of two Academies), Dixons City Academy, Bradford, Academy of St Francis of Assisi, Liverpool, MacMillan Academy, Middlesbrough. The Government is keen to expand the Academies initiative in London. The Government document The London Challenge: Transforming London Secondary Schools, launched by the Prime Minister in May 2003, includes plans for at least 30 new Academies in London by 2008, potentially involving several academies in one borough, either as new schools or replacing low achieving existing schools. In February 2004 the Government announced the biggest school rebuilding programme since Victorian times. The Government is to spend £5.1bn by 2005 on the programme and plans to rebuild or refurbish every secondary school in England within 15 years. The “Building Schools for the Future” programme will be financed by a mixture of public funds and the private finance initiative. To gain the money schools must show that they are “seriously considering” whether to become Academies. In August 2005 the Telegraph reported that the Prime Minister was thought to be concerned about the rising cost of Academies. Each new Academy costs an average of £25m, twice the cost of an average comprehensive. The newspaper reported that the Government was likely to use a White Paper in the autumn to change tack. The White Paper is likely to look at how to improve the choice on offer to parents over their children’s schooling. Emphasis is likely to be placed on encouraging popular schools to expand. In July 2005 the Guardian newspaper reported that the Government had already launched a review of the initiative to see if there were better ways to sponsor, build and fund schools. The review is being led by the Schools Minister Lord Adonis. The Secretary of State, Ruth Kelly, is understood to be interested in establishing more “creative” partnerships to back Academies, such
as using more educational bodies such as universities. Another suggestion being discussed is whether the £2m sponsorship, which is kept in a charitable trust could be used to fund the running costs of the school, rather than the building of them. A series of cheaper “standard building designs” may be used for the remaining schools. Cash donations may also be paid over a longer period, possibly up to two years. In September 2005 the Prime Minister told an audience at the City of London Academy in Bermondsey that he wanted to see 200 Academies opened by 2010. The speech was intended to celebrate the opening of ten more Academies and to reiterate his strong personal support for the policy after a run of bad publicity surrounding failed projects. He stated, “parents are choosing City Academies and that is good enough for me”. The Prime Minister said that the ultimate goal of his policies was to “escape the straitjacket of the traditional comprehensive school”. Instead there would be “genuinely independent non-fee paying state schools” that responded to the needs of pupils and parents. He also said that local authorities should become “commissioners of education and champions of standards,” rather than direct providers of schooling. Critics of the Academies programme include the former Education Secretary Estelle Morris who has expressed concern that Academies could unleash market forces in education that would squeeze out the children of poorer families. In September 2005 an EducationGuardian/ICM poll revealed that only 6 per cent of headteachers support Academies, with 43 per cent opposed and 40 per cent unsure. In October 2005 the Times reported that the Academies programme was at risk of failing to fulfill one of its core aims because of a “tax trap” that would cost individual schools millions of pounds in VAT. If an Academy was to make its amenities such as swimming pool or hall available to local people it would face a VAT bill of millions. The newspaper stated that the Business Academy in Bexley could not be a community could not be a community school as it would cost about £7m in VAT. Tax is waived if 90 per cent of the usage of the new buildings is for “relevant charitable purposes”, a regulation intended to stop commercial enterprises posing as charities. For the Academies this means opening for less than one hour a day after school hours, and not at all during holidays, or else face a bill for 17.5 per cent of the original cost of the new buildings. The Treasury has said that it is unable to change the rule, which is enforced by the EU VAT Sixth Directive. The White Paper “Higher Standards, Better Schools for All”, published in October 2005 emphasises that Academy status remains “at the heart of the programme”. In this context, the White Paper recalibrates the Government’s objective for the number of
Academies, from a target of 200 to the intention of achieving at least 200. One of the key points in the White Paper is that the Government intends that community school status should wither away. Local authorities will be barred from proposing new community schools. All primary and secondary schools will be encouraged to become self governing and to acquire a Trust. The Government has noted the similarity between Trust schools and Academies. “Every school will be able to acquire a self-governing Trust similar to those supporting Academies, which will give the freedom to work with new partners to develop their ethos and raise standards”. The similarity of Trust and Academy governance implies that Trusts will be a new method of introducing new providers, or sponsors, including Faith schools sponsors, and of providing independent schools with an easier way of becoming part of the maintained system. It is also possible that the Government intends that Trust status will provide a future stepping stone to acquiring Academy status. In May 2005, Tim Brighouse, chief adviser to London schools, said that Academies were often strong on style but weak on substance. He said one, which he refused to name, but was designed by Norman Foster, reminded him of “an American penitentiary”. In May 2005 it was reported that Unity City Academy in Middlesbrough had become the first Academy school to be failed by OFSTED. It was warned that it must go into special measures after a critical report by inspectors. Inspectors described a catalogue of weaknesses ranging from “fragile” leadership, an inappropriate futuristic building and a high staff absence rate with up to a third of teachers off sick on any given day. The lack of continuity had had “a detrimental effect on the pupils’ learning, attitudes and behaviour and standards.” In September 2005 the Independent newspaper reported that the truancy rate in Academies was 2.84 per cent in 2004 – more than twice the 1.25 per cent in other secondary schools. Examination results and Academies
In November 2005 the Sunday Telegraph reported that only 15 per cent of pupils attending Academies managed to get five good GCSEs, including maths and English, in 2005. National figures showed that 56 per cent of children in state schools gained five A* to C grades. For 44 per cent, the five included maths and English. Results from the 14 Academies were substantially lower. While over 35 per cent gained five good GCSEs, only 15 per cent of those included maths and English. In January 2006 the Guardian reported that Academies were among the worst-performing schools in England. Of the 14 Academies that had been open long enough for their 2005 GCSE results to be included in the rankings, seven were in the bottom 200 using the benchmark of the proportion of pupils gaining five or more passes at grades A*-C. Less than 30% of the pupils attending these seven Academies gained five C grades or better. At Bexley Business Academy in Kent, only 29% of pupils achieved five or more good GCSEs, while at the Capital City Academy in Brent, and Unity City Academy in Middlesbrough, just 16 per cent of pupils achieved this benchmark. In March 2006 the Times Educational Supplement analysed the GCSE results of Academies using the new measure of including English, maths and science in the benchmark of 5 A-C grades. In 2005 only 16 per cent of Academy pupils achieved this, an increase of only 3 per cent on predecessor schools. Two of the three longest opened Academies – Unity (Middlesbrough) and Greig (Haringey) - had worse results on the new measure than their predecessor schools. When GNVQs were removed, the percentage fell by at least half in 8 of the 14 Academies. Walsall Academy slumped from 67 per cent to 7 per cent. In October 2006 the Sunday Times reported that Academies were failing their pupils according to internal reports released under the freedom of information laws. The reports, based on value added data, showed that at eight of the 14 Academies pupils were failing to achieve the GCSE results that would be expected given their ability. The data undermines the Government’s claims that poor results from Academies can be attributed to the deprived background of many of their pupils. The data has been disclosed in performance and assessment reports, known as Pandas. The Sunday Times obtained the information from OFSTED. The latest figures show that in 2006 only 21 per cent of pupils in the first 14 Academies achieved grade C or above in five GCSEs including English and maths – less than half the national average. According to Pandas for 2005, five Academies had worse GCSE results than the “failing” schools that they replaced; four had only marginally improved; and five had improved their GCSE results by more than 5 per cent. In the worst case – Unity city Academy in Middlesbrough – only 6 per cent of 15–year-olds managed five good
GCSEs that included English and maths. Its GCSE results were worse in 2005 than the two schools it replaced in 2002. The DfES revised statistics on GCSE and equivalent examination results published in January 2007 contained a breakdown on Results in Departmental Initiatives including the 14 Academies which had been open long enough to have results in 2005 and 2006. These figures show that these Academies are 17.7 per cent behind the national average for 5 A-C grades (41.5 per cent compared with 59.2 per cent) but have a higher rate of improvement of 4.8 per cent compared with 2.2 per cent nationally. When English and Maths were included, these Academies trail by 34 per cent – 21.8 per cent compared with the national average of 45.8 per cent. The rate of improvement was substantially higher at 6.2 per cent compared with 1.0 per cent. On contextual value added scores, these Academies had KS2-4 and KS3-4 CVA measures of 1007 and 1005.6 respectively compared to measures of 1000.6 and 1000.8 nationally. Interesting comparisons can be made between Academies with other Government initiatives and schools operating in areas of deprivation: For Excellence in Cities schools (including Action Zones, clusters, etc), the figures for 5 A-C grades is 53.1 per cent (compared with 41.5 per cent - Academies; 59.2 per cent - national average). The rate of improvement is 2.4 per cent (compared with 4.8 per cent Academies; 2.2 per cent national average). In the 10 per cent most deprived areas, 47.6 per cent of pupils achieved 5 A-C grades (compared to 68.1 per cent in the 10 per cent least deprived areas). In Coalfield wards, 51.2 per cent of pupils achieved 5 A-C grades (compared to 58.0 non coalfield wards). These figures show that, purely in terms of GCSE outcomes, Academies trail other categories of schools, even those with high levels of deprivation. David Bell, Permanent Secretary at the DfES admitted to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee on 14 March 2007 that he was greatly concerned about examination results in Academies, with only 22 per cent of Academies pupils gaining five good GCSEs including English and maths compared with 45 per cent nationally. He said: “We are starting from a low base. There is a huge amount still to do.”
Around 69 Academy partnerships (open and in development) have been announced to date by the DfES. Information on these, together with details of further proposed Academies is available from the Privatisation in Education Unit. From the Unit’s analysis of the information available on Academies, a number of points have emerged: Sponsors The ability to raise £2m is the sole criteria for sponsoring an Academy. Expertise in education is not a condition. As examples, Roger de Haan, Chief Executive of Saga Holidays, sponsors the Marlow Academy in Kent; Amey plc, a construction and management firm sponsors the Unity City Academy in Middlesbrough; and Christian philanthropist, Sir Peter Vardy, of Reg Vardy car dealership, sponsors the King’s Academy in Middlesbrough. In October 2004 the Times Educational Supplement reported that the Government had ruled out vetting companies which fund specialist schools and Academies, despite the discredited energy firm Enron appearing on the official list of sponsors of specialist schools. Academy sponsors can use Academies to further their business interests. An investigation by the Times Educational Supplement in 2004 revealed that two Academies have paid out large sums of money to companies in which their private-sector sponsors have major interests. West London Academy paid £180,964 to businesses and a charity with connections to Sir Alec Reed, the Academy’s main sponsor. King’s Academy in Middlesbrough paid £290,214 to organisations and individuals with connections to Sir Peter Vardy, including £14,039 to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. In January 2006 the Evening Standard newspaper reported that a senior advisor to the Academies programme had resigned after he was caught encouraging businessmen to sponsor Academies in return for honours. Des Smith, an advisor to the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust told an undercover reporter that if a sponsor made a large enough donation, they could be put forward for an OBE, CBE, knighthood or even a peerage. He told the Sunday Times reporter if someone contributed to “one or two” Academies they could expect to be nominated. If someone contributed to five, they would be a “certainty” for a peerage. The appointments commission of the House of Lords is investigating two peerages offered to Academy sponsors. Mr Smith’s remarks show how desperate the Government has become to find private sponsors willing to make the Prime Minister’s dream of 200
Academies – 60 of them in London – become a reality by the target date of 2010. Nine Academy sponsors have been honoured since Labour came to power. They are Sir Martyn Arbib, Sir Clive Bourne, Sir David Garrard, Roger de Haan CBE, Sir Ewan Harper (head of the United Learning Trust), Sir Frank Lowe, John Madejski OBE, Jack Petchey OBE and Sir Peter Vardy. Some were honoured before they sponsored Academies. Two Academy sponsors, Sir David Garrard (Bexley Academy) and Sir Barry Townsley (Stockley Academy, Hillingdon) have been turned down for peerages as being “unsuitable”, even though they have been allowed by the Government to sponsor and have considerable influence over pupils’ education in Academies. The Government has admitted that Sir David Garrard and Barry Townsley were nominated for peerages because of their support for Academy schools. It asserted that it had always wanted business sponsors of Academies to join the House of Lords arguing that their personal knowledge of the Government’s education programme would add to the debate in the Upper House. In May 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that a £100,000 a year post of schools commissioner is to be created to champion Trust schools and Academies. The commissioner, who will be employed as a civil servant based at the DfES, will match up schools to partners and link sponsors to Academies. The move comes amid fears that interest in backing Academies is fading in the wake of the “cash for peerages” row. In February 2004 the Times Educational Supplement reported that the Government was lobbying Church of England leaders to play a leading role in the Academy programme. Andrew Adonis, senior policy adviser on public services, and Neil Flint, head of the Academies programme, told a meeting at the General Synod that the church should become a major partner in creating 53 new Academies by 2007. The church sees it as a way of helping it reach its target of creating 100 new secondary schools by 2007, envisaged in a report by Lord Dearing. Individual dioceses have to raise the £2m sponsorship for a new Academy but it is believed that they will be able to assess the Dearing Fund, which was set up to help achieve the 100 schools and has so far raised around £25m. Around half of the Academies approved or being planned so far, will be in the control of Christian organisations, which will decide what is taught and how it is taught. There will very soon be at least six Academies run by evangelical Christians, sponsored by Sir Peter Vardy. The Vardy-sponsored King’s Academy in Middlesborough teaches biblical creationism: Darwin’s theory of evolution is
portrayed as just one theory and that creationism is at least equally valid. The United Learning Trust, a subsidiary of the Church Schools Company, is the biggest single backer of the Academies programme. ULT have pledged funding for Academies in Barnsley, Doncaster, Lambeth, Manchester, Northampton, Salford, Sheffield and Westminster. ULT’s chief executive, Sir Ewan Harper, has stated that Trust is committed to sponsoring eleven Academies but may well sponsor more. ULT's objective is to manage schools which 'offer students a high quality education based on Christian principles of service and tolerance.' In March 2006 the Financial Times reported that Lord Bhatia, an independent peer and leading British Muslim, was planning to open 20 Academies with the help of other corporate sponsors. He was reported to be anxious to be a force for integrating children of different communities and was holding talks with the United Learning Trust to explore running some Academies jointly with Christian organisation. The Church Schools Company was founded as an educational charity in 1883 with the principal objective of creating schools that would offer pupils a good academic education based on Christian principles. The Church Schools Company set up the subsidiary United Learning Trust, which shares its head office address, specifically to manage Academies. The Church Schools Company was recently reamed United Church Schools Trust (UCST). UCST employs in the region of 1200 people, of whom 650 are teachers. UCST currently owns and manages twelve schools across the country. All are governed by the Governing Council of the Company, supported by a local governing body at each school with the exception of Caterham, which is governed by a separate body of Trustees, the majority of whom are appointed by the United Church Schools Trust. The Church of England will control four Academies directly, in Haringey, Bradford, Leeds and Leicester, and the Roman Catholic Church will have three, in Greenwich, Lewisham and Liverpool. The Academy in Enfield will be run by a Christian charity called the Oasis Trust, whose website tells us: "At Oasis, we have a passion for sharing the unconditional love of God with those society has written off. We want to help churches
and individuals to do the same." In July 2004 the Times Educational Supplement reported that Oasis had set up an Academies consultancy called Faithworks to help church groups set up Academies. The Oasis trust was founded by Steve Chalke, a high-profile Baptist minister and television presenter. The Rev Chalke has said that the Trust is committed to the Faithworks charter which states that members should never impose their faith on others. He and the organisation have, however, campaigned for faith organisations to be allowed to employ only people of their religion. Faithworks also provides advice on how organizations can get round anti-gay discrimination laws. It suggests organizations “committed to upholding the sanctity of sex as being part of marriage” should include this belief in their standards of staff behaviour. Concerns have been raised regarding the ability of sponsors to meet the needs of local communities. The King’s Academy in Middlesbrough teaches biblical creationism along with evolutionary theory. Parents’ groups and teachers have expressed concern about the ethos of the King’s Academy, the extent of which, they claim, was not made clear. Where a sponsor is seeking to take over an existing school, the local authority must consult locally and the initial decision is made by the School Organisation Committee (SOC). An existing non-denominational school may be replaced by a faith-based academy, leaving parents with little or no choice on the issue. Parents at Abbey Wood School in south-east London, for example, opposed replacement of their local comprehensive with a faith-based academy and the School Organisation Committee also voted against the proposal, but was overruled by the Schools Adjudicator, a Government-appointed official. The Government is also keen to encourage links between the independent school sector and Academies. The independent school, Dulwich College, has announced that it is to sponsor an Academy in East London. North London Collegiate School in Edgware is sponsoring an Academy in Hackney, due to open in 2007. Other independent schools which intend to support Academies include King's School in Canterbury and Oundle in Peterborough. Under the draft Charities Bill for England and Wales, independent schools not involved in helping their local community could lose their charitable status. Charitable status allows 80 per cent relief from business rates, and tax relief on investment income and covenanted gifts or appeals. It is also questionable whether independent schools have the experience to deal with the multitude of social factors facing inner city schools. In January 2006 the Independent reported that Edison, the largest private sector operator involved with state schools in America, was having discussions with the Prime Minister over whether to join the Academies programme. The firm has about 1,000 schools
in the US teaching around 300,000 children. In August 2005 the Financial Times reported that the Academy Sponsors Trust, set up in 2004 to support companies, churches and philanthropists approached to part-finance Academies, was to cease operation on 1 September 2005 and be taken over by the Specialist Schools Trust to become the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. The move will further increase the influence that Sir Cyril Taylor, chairman of the Specialist Schools Trust and one of the Prime Minister’s key advisors has over education. Sir Cyril Taylor, the education advisor behind city technology colleges in the 1980s and architect of the specialist schools movement, will run the Academies programme. The Trust’s new role will be to: seek out new sponsors and brief them on how to establish an Academy, act as a trouble shooter to help existing sponsors resolve problems, help Academies raise standards once they are open, including establishing links with specialist schools and perform a media and communications role. In January 2006 Sir Cyril Taylor, chairman of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, said that his organisation faced “challenges” in persuading big business to sponsor Academies outside London. He also said that multinational companies were still shying away from involvement in the scheme. In April 2006 New Philanthropy Capital, a charity set up to advise donors on how to give more effectively to charity, published their report “On your marks – young people in education”. The report includes a chapter on Academies and aims to set out the issues that potential donors should consider before deciding whether to become involved in the Academies initiative. NPC concludes that given the lack of evidence as to Academies’ overall success caution should be a watchword for sponsors: “There simply isn’t enough evidence to make a conclusive assessment on whether Academies are a good investment for donors. Academies show mixed results for their pupils. But there is enough evidence to raise doubts about their cost effectiveness.” “Sponsorship of an academy is high risk, and success, if it comes, will not be immediate.” “Sponsors should also consider that supporting an Academy, given the controversy that surrounds the programme, is a
commitment that is likely to be played out very publicly.” Funding In May 2004 the Times Educational Supplement reported that the cost of the Academies initiative had spiralled to two-and-a-half times its original budget. The funding of Academies is a key area of concern as it affects not only the Academy involved but can also have an impact on neighbouring schools. . Each new Academy costs an average of £25m, twice the cost of an average comprehensive. This means that the current system benefits pupils attending Academies at the expense of pupils attending other schools in the area, from which funding is diverted away. Sponsors are expected to provide up to 20 per cent of the capital costs for each Academy with the Government providing the balance (the Government said that this would be around £8m) and funding running costs. The DfES has said, however, “where the overall premises costs exceed £10m the relative contributions of sponsors and Government may be negotiated separately, balancing local need and the overall budget available for the Academies programme as a whole.” In these circumstances sponsors must contribute at least £2m, but may not necessarily need to contribute the full 20 per cent of the capital costs. In September 2005 the Times Educational Supplement reported that private sponsors were being offered Academies at knockdown prices. Philanthropists willing to back a string of Academies were being offered a “four for the price of three” deal as ministers strived to hit their target of 200 Academies either open or in development by 2010. Sponsors have been told that if they fund more than three Academies the price per school will be only £1.5m, rather than the standard £2m. The revelation came after it emerged that the United Learning Trust, an Anglican charity, is paying only £1.5m in sponsorship per school for eight of the 11 Academies it plans to open. Other documents have revealed that the archdiocese of Southwark will have to pay only £200,000 to sponsor St Paul’s Academy in Greenwich which opened in September 2005. The Academy, currently on the site of St Paul’s Catholic secondary, will move in 2007 to new buildings on playing fields at nearby Abbey Wood comprehensive, the school it is to replace. Greenwich council is to sell the St Paul’s site in 2007 and give £1.8m of the proceeds to the archdiocese so that it can meet its £2m contribution to the Academy. In reality actually handing over the money is not an essential condition of getting control of the Academy. An investigation by the Times Educational Supplement into the accounts of the first 12 Academies found that fewer than half had received all of the
£2million pledged by their sponsors. The sponsor’s contribution does not have to be in cash – Granada Learning in Liverpool, for example, are contributing books, training for teachers and softwear. In May 2006 “The Guardian” newspaper revealed that only four of the 27 Academies open so far had received the full £2m pledged from sponsors. Four Academies that opened in September 2005 had received no cash at all. The sponsors of the most expensive £38 million Academy, Haberdashers’ Aske’s Knights Academy, Lewisham appear to have only contributed £300,000 to date, and around £700, 000 to their other Academy in Lewisham. In February 2007 the National Audit Office published an evaluation report on the Academies programme. The report looked at the 27 Academies opened by September 2005 and found that a year later only 11 had received the £2m the Government originally specified sponsors should pay to control the schools. Nine had received payments of less than £1m. It reported that Sir Harry Djanogly had not paid any thing at all to sponsor Djanogly Academy in Nottingham because of his contribution to its predecessor city technology college. Some sponsors had agreed to pay in instalments, but in four cases – two involving the United Church Schools Trust – the payments were behind schedule by an average of around £200,000. The National Audit Office also discovered that the 12 Academies opened by 2003 had on average received an extra £1.6m in startup funding by 2005/06. This amounted to an extra £460 per pupil per year and was “substantially higher” than the average £750,000 extra start-up funding paid to other under-performing secondaries that have been given a “fresh start”. Two-thirds of Academies were still receiving start-up funding in their fourth year, the auditors found. They recommended it should cease after three. Many schools are in need of substantial funding to renovate their buildings and equipment. Academies, however, have already received more money from the DfES than was originally planned. The Greig City Academy in Haringey, for example, was allocated funding of £12m for building renovation, in addition to specialist funding and the Government writing off the school’s £700,000 overspend. There is a danger that LEAs will find itself having to make up any shortfall in funding from the sponsor or DfES, at the expense of other local schools. Turning an existing school into an Academy is very expensive. The Dulcie High school in Manchester was subject to a several
million pound refurbishment programme before the decision was made that it should be knocked down and renamed the Manchester Academy. In Sandwell the LEA sold the land surrounding the former Thomas Telford school to sponsors but then had to contribute £1m towards the preparation of the land to facilitate the development of the new Sandwell Academy. In July 2005 the Government announced that it would be paying off Unity City Academy’s overspend of nearly £1.5m pounds. In May 2004 the Times Educational Supplement reported that a total of £425m has been spent on the first 17 Academies, rather than the £170 million first budgeted. With numbers set to reach 50 by 2007, that bill could rise to £1.3 billion – equal to a third of the total capital budget for schools this year. Official figures show rising land prices, inflation in the construction industry and ambitious designs have sent the average cost of each Academy to more than £25m. In April 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that Academies were costing taxpayers up to £50m each. The two most expensive Academies each received more than £40m in public funds in two years, in building, start-up and running costs. The TES reports that a further eight have cost at least £25m. As well as building costs of up to £35m, the accounts of the first 17 open Academies reveal that “start-up” overheads for eight of the new schools were more than £1m. Overheads at three Academies ran to more than £2m. Bexley Business Academy is the most expensive of the new schools. It took £46.3m in public-sector grants between 2001-4. Costs for the 2004-06 academic years are likely to bring the total bill above £50m. At the West London Academy, which opened in 2003, the total bill to the taxpayer for the three year period 2002-05 is £45.9m. Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney received £29m in government grants in 2003-05, despite only educating 210 pupils in 2004. Neighbouring schools could be left to foot the bill for the new Academies after it emerged that the Government wants local authorities to use money earmarked for school refurbishment to expand the programme. Local authority leaders have accused civil servants of threatening to withdraw their council’s share of £2.2bn capital investment unless they agree to spend some of the money on Academies. The fact that Academies receive considerably more both in terms of capital and revenue funding than community or foundation schools means that they have the potential to destabilise local admissions by sending the message to parents that, because of their preferential funding and independent school status, Academies are better than maintained schools. Figures released by the Academy Sponsors Trust in April 2005 showed that nationally 4,730 children named Academies as their first-choice school for 2004-05. They were competing for 2,918 places.
Academies are independent schools, and therefore outside the responsibility of the Local Education Authority. The existence of Academies, particularly in small LEAs, such as some of those in London, where a large number of Academies are planned, makes it very difficult for LEAs to plan and provide a coherent and comprehensive education system for its pupils. Further, Academies damage the operation of local democratic accountability and make it difficult for parents to make representations or seek advice on educational issues from their elected councilors. LEAs’ planning will be further affected because of the distorting effect on admissions in other schools, as there will often be a considerable time-lag between the closure of a school and the opening of a new Academy with full capacity for all year groups. Neighbouring schools will experience significant fluctuations in their pupil numbers during this process, which would be multiplied if several Academies were in the vicinity. Admissions/Selection Academies have the potential to disrupt fair and efficient admissions arrangements within authorities and in neighbouring authorities. Their establishment gives parents the perception that the Academy is the “best” secondary school in the area irrespective of the quality of other schools. Their designation and the extra resources given to them can act as a magnet for parents attracted by the sales pitch of such a designation, irrespective of the achievements of nearby secondary schools. This perception is enhanced by high profile publicity such as the Prime Minister’s visits to the Bexley Academy and Capital Academy in Brent. Many Academies are oversubscribed. More than 800 pupils applied for 180 places at the City of London Academy, opened in September 2004. There is evidence to suggest that Academies are “cherry picking” more academically successful pupils and are refusing to admit children from more disadvantaged backgrounds and/or children with special needs. Schools in the same catchment area are then forced to accept these pupils, putting additional pressure on schools in the surrounding area. In Bristol, for example, where the St George Community College is due to reopen as an Academy, glossy leaflets have been distributed advertising the new school but these have only been distributed in the more affluent areas of Bristol. The school has since denied that it is attempting to attract pupils from more prosperous areas. The Greig Academy in Haringey experienced difficulties in recruiting pupils and targeted the leafy suburbs rather that the neighbourhood area of Tottenham.
Although Academies are represented on local admissions forums they are responsible for their own admission arrangements, subject to approval by the Secretary of State. The likelihood is that Academies, unlike other secondary schools, will use the capacity to select up to 10 per cent of pupils by aptitude. Selection by aptitude can undermine the operation of a comprehensive education system and re-introduce the damaging selection process. Pupils with special educational needs, those who are learning to speak English as an additional language and those whose home circumstances are difficult, could be further disadvantaged in these situations. Academies have a duty to accept special needs pupils if they are named in their statement as the school most suitable for their needs. Local authorities, however, do not have the power to name an Academy without its consent, even if it is convinced that it is the best place for the child. If the two sides fail to reach agreement the final decision rests with the Secretary of State, although parents can appeal to a special needs tribunal if they are unhappy. An article in “Children Now” (15.3.06) highlights the drop in numbers of pupils with SEN at two of the more academically successful Academies compared with their predecessor schools. In Walsall Academy the numbers fell from 41 per cent to 8 per cent; the City Academy Bristol fell from 46 per cent to 28 per cent. Of 14 Academies, the total percentage of children with SEN had fallen at 7 academies; the percentage of children with statements had fallen at 8 academies. In July 2005 the Times Educational Supplement reported that official figures shown to Parliament showed that most Academies had fewer disadvantaged pupils from the schools they replaced and had persuaded parents from outside their local area to choose an Academy for their child. One in ten Academy pupils comes from outside the local authority in which the school is situated and only a quarter of pupils live in its ward. In eight out of the 13 Academies which directly replaced another school, the proportion of disadvantaged pupils had gone down. Walsall Academy experienced the biggest drop. More than half of pupils at TP Riley, its predecessor, were eligible for free school meals in 2003. This fell to 26 per cent in 2004 and 16 per cent in 2005. A number of Academies are sponsored by religious organisations and have admissions policies and a Christian ethos similar to those of faith schools. The facility to give priority to children of a particular faith means it is possible for these schools to refuse places to local pupils. Whilst there is so far little evidence that direct selection has been used in the majority of Academies to date, the admission
proposals for Sandwell’s Academy, for example, are rigid in terms of categorising pupils into ability bands. This policy is likely to lead to a situation where a child is denied a place in their neighbourhood school. In May 2003 it was reported that secondary head teachers in Sandwell, whose schools specialise or intend to specialise in the Academy’s chosen specialism (sport and business studies), saw the Academy as direct competition, both in terms of staff retention and pupil admissions. Therefore as a direct consequence and to counter the competitive nature of the Academy, a number of secondary head teachers were considering approaching their Governing Bodies with proposals that governors consider changing admission policies of their establishments to select up to 10 per cent of their pupils to fill the specialist places.
All-through Academies The Government has introduced legislation to allow “all age” Academies educating both primary and secondary pupils, and for 1619 Academies. The West London Academy in Ealing, for example, also provides primary and pre-school education. The Business Academy, Bexley had initially been established as an 11-18 school but the governors plan to extend the Academy to make it a 4-18 school. In Lewisham there is a proposal to establish a 4-16 Academy. In Islington there are plans to establish a 5-16 Academy with possible post 16 education. Leicester City plans to establish a 3-16 Academy. The expansion of all-through Academies could lead to the closure of local primary and nursery schools. A recent development is that of “all-through” academies, educating primary and nursery age pupils as well as secondary, which involve the closure of existing primary as well as secondary schools. Bexley is one of the first academies to pursue this option and considerable unease has been reported among the staff of the primary schools. As well as the considerable impact of such changes in terms of teaching and support staff, this development brings the Government’s diversity agenda and the involvement of the private sector into primary and early years education which is a retrograde step. Curriculum The Government has said that Academies “can combine a greater flexibility over the curriculum with the sponsorship and expertise of religious, private or voluntary sector contributors to raise the achievements of pupils.” Doubts have been raised about the
compatibility of flexibility with the provision of a broad and balanced curriculum, particularly if this is influenced by sponsors. For example Professor Alec Reed, sponsor of an Academy in Ealing is also the founder of a charity, the Academy of Enterprise, and has stated that enterprise will be integrated into all aspects of the curriculum. Bexley’s Business Academy aims to fit the National Curriculum into a four-day week. Friday will be devoted to business skills. The Academy in Bristol focuses on vocational courses of study such as catering and hotel work. Parents have expressed a number of concerns over the move to vocational courses and fear that their children will not have equality of opportunity to follow academic courses. A network of 12 vocational Academies was announced in early October 2005 to provide “plasters, plumbers and bricklayers of tomorrow”. The Business Academy, Bexley, fits the National Curriculum into a four-day week. Friday is devoted to business studies. The school has its own mini stock exchange and trading floor. This begs the question of whether it is desirable for pupils to be drawn into the competitive “world of work” at the age of 11, or even earlier with the “all-age” Academies. Few of the announced Academies have an arts subject as a specialism. The majority specialise in business, technology, enterprise or ICT, reflecting the interests of sponsors who have been actively encouraged by the Government to participate in the Academies programme. Overtime this trend could distort the curriculum on offer to all pupils. Governors Academies threaten the role and responsibilities of school governing bodies as representatives of the local “stakeholders” in a school. Initially sponsors were “invited” but not obliged, to include LEA or elected representation on school governing boards. Academy governing bodies are only required to have to have one member of the LEA on the governing body. Sponsors, on the other hand, may want to ensure that sponsor governors have a majority on the governing body. For example, in August 2002, an article in the Times Educational Supplement stated that eight of the 13 governors at Capital City Academy in Brent would by appointed by its sponsor, Sir Frank Lowe.
There is no requirement for teaching staff to be included on the governing body. Teaching staff will not be included on the governing board of Walsall’s Academy but will have a governor to represent their interests. Teachers will have to have their application cleared through the Head if they wish to have an interview with the Chairman or Deputy Chairman of the Governors. Pay and conditions/Transfer Rights/Negotiating Rights This is the greatest area of concern for NUT members currently working in schools to be replaced by Academies and those who will be employed in the future. Academies independent status means that they have the potential to threaten teachers’ job security, salaries and conditions and service. They can operate outside the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) and Burgundy Book. The DfES states that it is “the responsibility of the Academy to agree levels of pay and conditions of service with its employees and to employ appropriate staff numbers.” The Greig City Academy, in Haringey, for example, experimented with a new contract for teachers, requiring them to teach additional lessons per week based on a school year of 1400 hours. The new contract caused significant difficulties for staff and the majority of original teaching staff left. Bexley Business Academy also operates a longer day and it has been reported that teachers are not receiving a proper lunch break. They are given 30 minutes, during which time they have to supervise children. In Bristol teachers had originally been told that their terms and conditions would not change when the school opened as an Academy but the Head is now planning to extend the hours the school will open. This is being sold to teachers as an opportunity to work some sort of “flexi time”. Concerns have also been raised regarding the influence that sponsors will have on the appointment of teachers. The Times Educational Supplement reported that concerns had been raised that the Kings Academy in Middlesbrough, sponsored by the Vardy Foundation, was appointing teachers because of their religious beliefs. Some staff members from the schools that it is replacing have accused the Academy of bias towards Christian teachers.
Currently, union recognition exists in 11 Academies (although not all have signed formal agreements). There is no recognition or collective bargaining machinery in three (Bexley, Walsall, Kings). The intense work required staff in launching an Academy will undoubtedly divert attention from teaching and learning. There are also intense pressures on teachers to deliver quick wins in terms of increased exam results. This has led to reports of high turnover of staff in some Academies – an indication that retention of staff, and thus the destabilising effect on pupils’ education, is a cause for concern. Unity City Academy in Middlesbrough has had three head teachers since it opened in 2002 and spent £250,000 on supply cover in 2004 due to long-term absence from stress. OFSTED reported that up to a third of staff were absent at any one time. The Times Educational Supplement in May 2005 reported that six out of twelve Academy heads had resigned in the first 18 months. Support to Divisions The Union continues to provide support to divisions and associations on Academies issues. The briefing for division secretaries on privatisation held in October 2005 included sessions on Academies. The Union has also set up an Academies Task Group to provide advice and information on campaigning against Academies. Detailed guidance on Academies has been sent out by circular and been put on the NUT website. The Union has also produced an Academies campaign pack to support divisions and associations in campaigning against planned Academies. The campaign pack is located on the Union’s website and will be constantly updated to reflect continuing developments. The majority of the information contained in the attached summaries has been obtained from divisions and divisions will be encouraged to continue to keep the Unit informed of developments.
Around 70 Academy Partnerships have been announced to date by the DfES. This digest of information was updated by the Privatisation in Education Unit in March 2007. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) The Edgware School The London Academy Specialism and Age Range Business, Enterprise and Technology 11-19 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
£1.5m to be provided by Announced July 2001 Peter Shalson, Chair of Open September 2004 SGI Ltd, a venture capital company. Additional funding will be contributed to the Academy from the sale for redevelopment of part of the predecessor school site.
NUT concerns/additional information The venture is closely tied to the redevelopment of a housing estate and the sale of half the playing fields. The Division met with the Principal of Edgware School in July 2002 to discuss developments regarding the establishment of the London Academy. The principal had originally explored the possibility of a PFI bid to replace the schools buildings. He had had no success with this and had approached the DfES regarding Academy status. Andrew Adonis at Downing Street had suggested Peter
Shalson as a sponsor. The principal has said that there is no intention on the part of himself or the sponsor to depart from national pay and conditions of service for teachers. He stated that he was interested in discussing the pattern of the school year and day but stressed that this would be within the provisions of national conditions of service. He would like the Academy to be open for 6 hours each day rather than the current 5 and might consider paying for childcare if the pattern of the school year caused any difficulties. The Academy will recognise all trade unions currently recognised by Barnet LEA. The Division has also been assured that the Academy will not select by ability or seek in any way to alter the make-up of the school population. The catchment area will remain the same and the sibling link will be maintained. The Academy will have a language and speech therapy unit for pupils with Special educational needs. The funding agreement has not yet been signed and is in part dependent upon planning permission being granted. It is hoped that it will be signed in August or September at which point the Trust will be established. Full planning permission is not expected to be granted until November 2002. The sponsor has agreed that the current Principal of Edgware School should be the Principal of the Academy. It has also been agreed that there will be two teacher representatives on the Governing Body. It is intended that the Academy will open in September 2004 and closure notices for the current school have been issued Peter Shalson donated more than £5,000 to the Labour Party in 2001. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Specialism and Age Range Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Elmhirst School Barnsley Academy
Business and enterprise 11-18
United Learning Trust (The Church Schools Company)
Open September 2006, moved to new building in September 2006
NUT concerns/additional information In January 2004 the Division reported that Barnsley LEA was consulting on the reorganisation of schools provision in the Worsburough/Kendray area. Under the proposals the Worsbrough Bank End Primary School, Kendray Primary School and the Elmhirst Secondary School would close and be replaced with an all through Academy (3-19). The proposed sponsor of the Academy is the United Learning Trust. In October 2004 the proposals appeared on the DfES Academies in development website. The Academy will provide 900 places for 11-16 year olds and a further 250 places for a sixth form. It will specialise in business and enterprise and is due to open in September 2006. The Academy consultation document states that two sites are being considered for the Academy: A - the site of the Elmhirst School ,B - the site adjacent to Worsbrough Bank End Primary School. In May 2005 the Times Educational Supplement reported that parents’ views on whether the Academy should go ahead were being ignored. An independent report said 48 per cent of people replying to a questionnaire said they were opposed, 13 per cent said they were unsure and 39 per cent in favour. In March 2006 Elmhirst School was taken out of special measures and placed under ‘notice to improve’ (TES, 08/06). LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Aylwin Girls’ School Specialism and Age Range Enterprise Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Lord Harris (carpet magnate) to provide
Announced January 2005 Due to open September 2008 but could
£1.5m towards capital costs
be earlier if circumstances allow Open September 2006
NUT concerns/additional information In October 2005 the Division reported that the council had agreed to consult on the proposal to close Aylwin School as an LEA maintained school from August 31 2008 in the context of the proposal to establish and Academy from September 1 2008. In 2005 Ofsted said that it had ‘every confidence’ that Alwyn Girls’ School could build on its ‘considerable strengths’. (TES, 04/08/06). The Harris Academy at Aylwin will have an agreed admission number of 180 girls. It will be an 11-18 school with 180 places in each of Years 7-11 and 250 places for girls aged 16-18 giving a total roll of 1150.
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Thamesmead Community College The Business Academy
Specialism and Age Range Business and Enterprise All age Academy
Progress of Proposal
David Garrard, the Chair of Minerva Plc, property investment and development group and Chairman of the Garrard Education Trust, is to be personal sponsor donating £2.4 m towards
Announced March 2001. Opened Sep 2002
NUT concerns/additional information The architect Lord Norman Foster was involved with the redevelopment of Thamesmead Community College. The Business Academy is operated by 3Es Enterprises which already runs three state schools in Surrey. Concerns raised with the Union nationally over pay and conditions. Whilst Bexley’s consultation document does state that the TUPE regulations would apply to all transferred teachers, it does not state whether the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document would be applied or whether it is proposed that a separate structure be introduced. Clarification is needed on whether all staff from Thamesmead Community College would be transferred to positions in the new Academy. Clarification also needed over regarding the possible adaptation of responsibilities and work practices to reflect the requirements of the Academy. Doubts raised over the ability of the Academy to provide a broad and balanced curriculum – concerns regarding the extent Business and Industry will influence the development of the proposed curriculum. The Academy aims to fit the National Curriculum into a four-day week and devote Friday to business related studies. There are also plans to install a mini stock exchange and trading floor on the premises. Another area for concern is that the composition of the governing body is heavily biased towards sponsor Governors. There are plans for the Academy to have its own low-rent housing development as a way of attracting new staff and keeping existing teachers. It plans to build 30 houses on site or on surrounding land, to be rented out to staff at “no more than the cost of mortgage interest”. The Business Academy opened on the 12 September 2002. Eight hundred pupils started at the school, which will accommodate 1,350 pupils aged 11-18 when it is full. The school day is longer than most to allow the National Curriculum to be covered on Monday to Thursday, leaving Friday free for business skills. The day begins at 8.20am. After an hour of lessons, pupils get a 25-minute break for breakfast. Lunch lasts half an
hour, with the day finishing at 3.45pm. The Division has reported that teachers who were transferred from Thamesmead Community College to the Academy were transferred under TUPE arrangements on their existing pay and conditions. They were offered the choice of transferring to a new Academy contract but none chose to do so. Teachers new to the school were given the Academy contract. It has been reported that teachers at the Academy are not receiving a "proper" lunch break. They are given 30 minutes, during which time they have to supervise children. Much of the new highly acclaimed building designed by Sir Norman Foster is not ready and many teachers are still working in the old building. Bexley LEA has decorated the corridors and communal areas but it has been reported that teachers themselves went in and painted their own classrooms at weekends. Whilst there has been a great deal of publicity about the schools IT facilities most teachers do not yet have access to a computer. In February 2003 an advertisement appeared in the TES for experienced teachers and NQTS to work at the Academy. The advertisement stated that salary was by negotiation. In February 2003 the Division reported that the Academy had published a joint consultation with Bexley Council and 3Es to open a primary section at the Academy from 1 September 2004. Bexley Council has agreed in principle to the development of a 4-11 primary provision at the Academy, subject to consultation and the provision of secondary funding by the council. The Council plans to close two local schools, Abbey Primary School and Southlake Primary School from 31 August 2004. Both schools are in challenging circumstances and have been identified by OFSTED as needing improvement. The consultation document states that TUPE will apply to all staff transferring to the Academy from the two primary schools. It also states that recognised trade unions and professional associations will be consulted throughout the transfer process. The council has also agreed that the Academy should manage a neighbourhood nursery catering for up to 90 children. 3E’s Enterprises, which project manages the Academy will also manage this project. The company, a subsidiary of Kingshurst CTC is responsible for the management of three secondary schools in Surrey. It does not have experience of primary or early years
education. The Academy became an all age school in September 2004. The Academy recognises teachers’ rights to belong to the Union but this is as far as their recognition goes. The Division has reported that the Academy sees itself as an independent school and as such does not believe that it has to negotiate with Unions. The Division has reported that the LEA allows no facilities time for representation/support/communication meetings with NUT members at the Academy. Whilst the NUT does not currently have a large membership at the Academy it does have a number of members at the primaries, Abbey and Southlake. The Division is to write to the Academy asking for full union recognition and to ask for payment for facilities time. David Garrard is a trustee of the Police Foundation and joint chairman of the International Centre for Children’s Studies. The Division has reported that the Academy is attracting children from more affluent areas rather than Thamesmead. In October 2003 the Division reported that the papers had been signed for two primary schools to be amalgamated into the Academy. In February 2004 the Division reported that serious concerns had been raised regarding 3E’s treatment of staff at Abbey and Southlake primary schools. Staff at the school felt that 3E’s was trying to discourage them from moving to the school. They appeared to be interviewing job applicants for the Academy which goes against TUPE regulations. Some staff with children in secondary schools, particularly those children in Greenwich schools, were told that they might look to work elsewhere due to the clash between a three and a six term year. Staff also felt that they were being talked down to and patronised. The Unison representative has written to the LEA on these issues and has requested that 3E’s indicate their intentions regarding staff at the primary schools. In its first year, the Business Academy achieved an increase in pupils attaining 5 or more A*-C grades at GCSE from 7 per cent in 2002 to 21 per cent in 2003. Having never needed a sixth form at the predecessor school, over 80 pupils (aged 16+) requested to stay on at the school in 2003.04. A sixth form was formed. The Academy expanded in September 2004 to become a 4-18 school including a
Neighbourhood Nursery. In December 2004 OFSTED was damning about the quality of teaching and learning at Bexley Business Academy, where much publicity had been given to spending one day a week on the school’s “City Trading Floor” with teaching of the National Curriculum limited to the other four days. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Darwen Moorland High School Academy will be a new build Specialism and Age Range Business and enterprise 11-19 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Blackburn with Darwen
Rod Aldridge, Executive Chairman of Capita is contributing towards capital costs through the Rodney Aldridge Charitable Trust
Announced in October 2004
NUT concerns/additional information In October 2004 the DfES Academies in development website featured proposals to establish an Academy to replace Elmhirst School. The Academy will provide 1,200 places for 11-16 year olds, and a further 400 places for a sixth form. In March 2005 the Times Educational Supplement revealed that the Government had serious concerns about allowing Rod Aldridge, Chairman of Capita, to sponsor the Academy. Civil servants warned Rod Aldridge of a potential conflict of interest over his investment in the new school. The warning is disclosed in documents released under the Freedom of Information Act that also reveal officials admitting they are “under pressure” over plans to launch 200 Academies by 2010. In 2001 Capita won a £190m 15 year contract with Blackburn with Darwen council to support regeneration.
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Bradford Cathedral Community College Bradford Cathedral Academy
Specialism and Age Range Business and enterprise 11-18
Progress of Proposal
Toc H (a national community support charity) and the Church of England
Announced January 2004. Due to open in September 2007
NUT concerns/additional information In January 2004 the “Times Educational Supplement” reported that an international charity, which runs three schools in India was to provide £1m sponsorship for the Academy. London based Toc H, founded during the First World War to bring comfort to soldiers, will provide £1m sponsorship. It will work with the Anglican diocese of Bradford to plan changes. In February information regarding the Academy appeared on the DfES’s Academy website. The Academy had originally been due to be sponsored by Dixon’s City Technology College. In November 2005 the Division reported that the proposals with the Church of England and Toc H were still going ahead. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Dixons City Technology College Dixons City Academy Specialism and Age Range Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Product design and the Dixons City Technology performing arts College providing 11-19 sponsorship of £395,000
Announced April 2004 Open September 2005
NUT concerns/additional information In April 2004 the DfES Academies website stated that there was a proposal to replace Dixons CTC with an Academy. It will be sponsored by Dixons CTC which will be providing sponsorship of £395,000. Previous proposals published on the DfES website (see information on Cathedral Academy above) had stated that Dixons CTC was to merge with Bradford Cathedral College to form an Academy. This has now fallen through. The Academies establishment will involve both a refurbishment of the predecessor school and new buildings – the Academy will be located on the site of the predecessor school and is due to open in September 2005. In November 2005 the Division reported that the authority was under pressure from the DfES to set up another four Academies. There are no concrete proposals as yet but the division has visited the schools likely to be targeted and talked to staff about the implications. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Willesden High School Capital City Academy Specialism and Age Range Sports 11-18 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Sir Frank Lowe, chair of the Lowe Group and Octagon Sports Marketing, has pledged support of up to £2.6m. Architect Lord Norman
Announced September 2000. Open September 2003
Foster has agreed to make a pro bono contribution to the development of the building
NUT concerns/additional information In October 2000, the Brent Association passed an emergency motion warning that the governing body of a Academy would have rights of hire and fire, determination of conditions of service, rates of pay and working hours and terms for teachers. The motion also warned that governing bodies would be able to set unpublished admissions and exclusion criteria for pupils. It demanded that Brent LEA’s decision to move forward with the creation of an Academy be rescinded and that a proper consultation take place before any further move is made. A national deputation to the LEA took place in December 2000. In August 2002, an article in the Times Educational Supplement stated that eight of the 13 governors at Capital City Academy in Brent would be appointed by Sir Frank Lowe who will appoint seven sponsor governors plus a local community governor. Parents, teachers and other staff will each elect a single representative, with the LEA appointing another member. Sir Frank Lowe has stated that sixth-formers will switch to the baccalaureate in 2008. Sir Frank Lowe donated £25,000 to Labour MP Frank Dobson’s bid to become London Mayor in 2000 and is also a Labour Party donor. He received a knighthood in 2001. The DfES website states that Capital City Academy is oversubscribed. In April 2004 it was reported that the Academy had ran into financial difficulties and seven staff redundancies were announced. The headteacher has resigned after less than a year in charge. In May 2004 Sir Frank Thomas wrote a letter to the Times Educational
Supplement stating that there was no crisis at the Academy and that voluntary redundancies were taking place for reasons of organisational effectiveness. In July 2004 headteacher Frank Thomas left the Academy for personal reasons, insisting his departure was unrelated to a move to make seven staff redundant. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) The Stadium Academy will be a new build and will be located at Wembley Park. Specialism and Age Range Citizenship 3-18 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Announced May 2006. Due to open September 2009.
NUT concerns/additional information In September 2005 the division reported that it would be demonstrating against a proposed second Academy in Brent. The Academy would be built on the site of Wembley Sports Ground, sponsored by Andrew Rosenfeld, CEO Minerva plc. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) St George Community Specialism and Age Range Sports Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Sponsored by local
Announced December 2001. Open
College The City Academy
consortia, including Bristol City FC, University of the West of England and Bristol Business West.
NUT concerns/additional information Proposal to re-develop the existing campus and off site playing fields of St George Community College. Initial estimates suggest that up to £8m investment would be required to deliver the key objectives of the proposals. The sponsors are seeking to increase capital investment to £12m. The City Council is fully supportive of St George Community College becoming an Academy. Other sponsors contributing to capital sponsorship are the Wallscourt Foundation (a foundation of the University of the West of England) the Wheels Project, the Dawn Trust and the Travelling Light Theatre Company. Further sponsorship from Chase Fleming and other Trusts has also been committed. In October the Division reported that he headteacher of St.George Community College had been seconded from his post for a year to set up the Academy. The Division is having regular monthly meetings with him and Adrian Taylor who is managing the project. Adrian Taylor was also involved in managing the Brent Academy. The Division is very dissatisfied with the meetings so far - the head spends a lot of time expunging his visions for the Academy but very little time giving answers to questions about members pay and conditions. The Head of St George’s had originally stated that nothing would change but is now planning to extend the hours that the school will open. This is being “sold” to teachers as an opportunity to work some sort of “flexi time”. Teachers have been told that they will not have to work outside normal hours if they do not want to. The Head has also said that there will be no compulsory redundancies and has come up with a staffing structure which accommodates everybody. The Head has told staff that he plans to give them pay increases as he hopes to be able to pay them on higher points on the salary scale. The Academy will be organised as a series of “learning villages” into which the subject areas will be integrated - it will offer vocational courses of study such as catering and hotel work. The main focus will be on sport - there will be 40 young footballers from Bristol City FC who will receive post 16 education, BCFC trainers will be taking over the physical side of their education and will also help develop the skills of other students. Glossy leaflets have been produced “A New School for Bristol” - they have been
distributed only in the more affluent areas of Bristol with the free local newspaper. At The moment the school is very firmly in the inner-city area with an extremely high number of black and other minority ethnic students, black parents have expressed a number of concerns about the stereotyping of black pupils as in sporting roles and several have expressed concerns about the disapplication of the national curriculum and move to vocational courses, they fear that their children will not have equality of opportunity to academic courses. The Division has reported that the Chair of the Trustees is quite openly hostile to TU reps and that there is beginning to be a lot of “passing the buck” going on - for example when the Division asked about conditions of service issues they were told it would be up to the board of trustees to determine. In November the Division reported that Adrian Taylor, manager of the Academy project, had not had his contract renewed. A new manager is being sought. The Academy has a SEN Unit for pupils with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties and physical disabilities. Parents do not have to pay for the cost of school uniform as one of the school’s sponsors has donated around £90,000 to kit out all 1,240 pupils this term with a 17-piece uniform and sports kit. In June 2005 the Times reported that a public school would be establishing links with the Academy. Millfield, whose prep school was attended by Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary, would be forming a partnership with the Academy. The paper reported that the £19,000 a year school and the Academy plan to work together in sport, the performing arts and staff development. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Withywood School Academy will be a new build Specialism and Age Range Business and enterprise 11-18 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Society of Merchant Venturers
Announced on DfES website October 2004 Due to open September 2007. In May 2006 it was announced that the
Academy would be opening in 2008. NUT concerns/additional information In December 2004 an article appeared in the Bristol Evening Post regarding concerns about the Society of Merchant Venturers involvement in the Academy proposals. The Merchant Venturers, is a very secretive local charitable society with roots in the slave trade. It runs two local independent schools. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Oasis Hengrove Academy Hengrove Community Arts College NUT concerns/additional information In October 2005 details of the above Academy appeared on the DfES website. The Academy will replace Hengrove Community Arts College in South Bristol. It will have 960 places for 11-19 year old students. In February 2007 the division reported that proposals to merge a newly opened primary school with the planned Oasis Trust Academy to form an all-through 3-18 Academy were unlikely to go ahead. Parents and Bristol NUT campaigned against this proposal. The Council has said that it is unlikely to go ahead since over 70 per cent of respondents had rejected the proposals. Specialism and Age Range Performing and visual arts 11-19 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Due to open September 2009
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Woodway Park School
Specialism and Age Range Business and Enterprise 11-18
Progress of Proposal
Due to open September 2009
NUT concerns/additional information In June 2005 the Birmingham Post reported that businessman and evangelist Bob Edmiston hoped to sponsor a new school in Coventry which would be based on a Christian ethos. Warwickshire-based Mr Edmiston, whose IM Group has made him one of the richest men in the country, is already sponsoring the Grace Academy in Solihull. There are now plans to replace Woodway Park School in Coventry with a similar Christian-based Academy. The entrepreneur who made his money importing cars and is estimated to be worth between £300-£400m has said that he wants to create three Academies in the West Midlands. The proposals are being opposed by local Liberal Democrats and Labour MP Ken Purchase.
A second Academy is proposed as a replacement for both Sidney Stringer and Barr's Hill schools, and will form part of the proposed Swanswell Learning Quarter which will be located to the west of Primrose Hill Street on a site formally occupied by high-rise blocks and in close proximity to Sidney Stringer School. The proposed opening date would be September 2008 or September 2009. The council has stated that it has been in discussion with the DfES and with potential sponsors for the Swanswell Academy but at this stage has not been able to secure a funding arrangement. It has been agreed with DfES that a consortium for sponsors can be established which will include representatives from the City Council, Coventry University and City College and that this grouping of public sector partners can put forward up to 20% of the £2 million total sponsorship required. Other partners to join in this consortium are being actively sought.
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Stanley Technical High School for Boys.
Specialism and Age Range Business and enterprise with Design and Technology 11-18
Progress of Proposal
Lord Harris of Peckham and the Whitgift Foundation providing funding of £2m
Due to open September 2007
NUT concerns/additional information In July 2003 DfES Academies website stated that a mixed 11-18 Academy was planned to replace the Stanley Technical High School for Boys. The Sponsors, Lord Harris of Peckham and the Whitgift Foundation, have committed £2 million. Lord Harris has also pledged support of at least £2m for the Academy at Peckham, Southwark. In May 2004 the NUT put in an objection to the closure of Stanley Technical High School to make way for an Academy. Using the results of a standardised non-verbal reasoning test pupils will be allocated to one of nine groups.
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) BRIT School for the Performing Arts and Technology BRIT Academy
Specialism and Age Range Performing Arts 14-19
Progress of Proposal
The British Recording Industry Trust (BRIT) (also sponsor of current school)
Announced May 2006 open September 2007
NUT concerns/additional information Proposal to establish a 14-19 Academy to replace the existing BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology on the existing site in Selhurst, Croydon. The Academy will cater for 920 students in total. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Landau Forte CTC Landau Forte College 11-18 NUT concerns/additional information Specialism and Age Range Technology and Business Enterprise Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Landau Foundation -The existing trust have committed sponsorship towards the capital cost of the project
Announced May 2006 Open September 2006
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Thorne Grammar School Trinity Academy
Specialism and Age Range Business and enterprise 11-18 Academy
Progress of Proposal
Vardy Foundation providing sponsorship of up to £2m Also known as the Emmanuel Schools Foundation
Open September 2005
NUT concerns/additional information In March 2002 the Times Educational Supplement reported that Doncaster council planned to rebuild Thorne Grammar School as an Academy using money from the Vardy Foundation. The Vardy Foundation has stated that the school would be open to pupils of all religions, although it would have a “backdrop of Christian values”. The TES reported that Thorne grammar school’s former headteacher had claimed that he was put under unfair pressure to resign last year due to the authority’s plans to make the school an Academy. The DfES Academies website states that the Academy will be a new build 11-18 school on the site of the predecessor school (Thorne Grammar School). In December 2003 the Division reported that a transfer agreement between Doncaster council and Doncaster Academy had been published. The document states that there will be no faith requirements for staff employed at the Academy. Developments at the Vardy sponsored King’s Academy in Middlesbrough however indicate that this may not be the case. The transfer document also states that the Vardy Foundation has submitted a planning application for the new Academy and refers to the development of land belonging to the previous school for residential units, either for sale or for rent.
Concerns have been raised over the future of the Youth Centre which is currently on the school site. The transfer agreement states that the Youth Centre will have to be cleared to allow the new Academy to be built. The Vardy Foundation has said that it does not see Youth Service provision as being appropriate on an Academy site. This is likely to have significant implications for pupils. Restrictions will also be placed on Doncaster College’s use of the premises. The College has a strong historical connection with the school. The clearance of the Youth Centre and the restrictions on Doncaster College will be a loss to the community and go against the Government’s promotion of Academies as a provider of services to the whole community. In February 2006 the Independent reported that a number of parents at the school were unhappy about the school’s strict disciplinary code. Pupils caught smoking are suspended for the first offence, given a final warning for the second and expelled for the third. Parents claim the code, introduced with the new school, is aimed at weeding out difficult children who will damage Trinity’s hopes of academic success. In 2006 just over 34 per cent of students gained at least 5 C grades. When Thorne Grammar, the comprehensive school it replaced, closed in August 2005 its headline pass rate was just over 35 per cent. The Academy insisted that the results actually represented a significant success as the students involved had not been predicted to do as well as they had. Discipline, exclusions and informal exclusions on breaches of uniform and appearance rules at the above Emmanuel Schools Foundation Academy was featured in the Times Educational Supplement on 12 January 2007. Apparently a letter to a parent revealed that the DfES had drawn the principal’s attention to the fact that informal exclusions were not compatible with the department’s guidance. The following week’s TES said that the DfES backed the school’s right to send pupils home for not wearing the correct uniform. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) The Compton High School and Sports College and Northolt Primary School Specialism and Age Range Enterprise and Sports 4-18 Academy Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Alec Reed, CBE, founder of the employment agency Reed Executive has
Open September 2003
The West London Academy NUT concerns/additional information
pledged support of £2 million.
The Academy project has the backing of Ealing council, which volunteered for an Academy, welcoming the extra £10m of extra funding. Alec Reed is the founder of a charity, the Academy of Enterprise, which he set up in 2000 as he believed that the education system did not prepare pupils for the outside world. In their expression of interest Alec Reed and the London Borough of Ealing have stated that enterprise will be integrated into all aspects of the curriculum, whereby all teaching staff understand the contribution that enterprise can make to all subjects. He is reported to have said that he wants every child to see itself as “Me PLC”. Alec Reed gave the Labour party more than £5,000 in 1998 and 1997. He is chairman of Reed Executive, which owns Reed Employment, one of the UK’s biggest recruitment agencies. Reed Employment runs the Government’s New Deal projects in the Hackney and City area of north London. He is also Professor of Innovation at Royal Holloway College, University of London and visiting Professor of Enterprise at London Guildhall University. The Academy shares its campus and is integrated with the special and primary school. Sure Start and Adult education provision are also located on the site. The Academy will work with the Ealing ‘Excellence in Cities Partnership’ which includes all maintained secondary schools in the borough. The expression of interest states that where applications outnumber places the following criteria will be applied in the following order: “Preference shall be given where there is a brother or sister who will be attending the school at the time of admission; exceptional medical or social circumstances shall be considered; walking distance from the child’s home to the school measured by the nearest safe pedestrian route”. An article in “The Independent” on 29 November 2001 stated that the new school is strongly opposed by the local branch of the NUT, which represents most of the teachers at the school. An article in the Times on 14 July 2002 reported that the Headteacher appointed to run the Compton Academy would earn in excess of £100,000, plus benefits worth up to £20,000. The post was due to be advertised in “The Times Educational Supplement” in the week beginning 17 June 2002. In October 2002 it was reported that Alistair Falk, Headteacher at the King Solomon High School in East London, had been
appointed to run the Academy. Both Alistair Falk, the new headteacher, and sponsor Alec Reed are keen to pursue an admissions policy of ten per cent by aptitude. In November 2005 the Independent newspaper reported that Alistair Falk had been replaced after his management style was criticized by Inspectors. He has been moved by the school’s sponsor Alec Reed, to an administrative position in an education foundation. In February 2003 the Times Educational Supplement reported that pupils at the school would have a designated classroom and would have the majority of their lessons in one room with teachers moving between classrooms. Instead of key stages pupils will follow 9-13 and 14-19 curricula. This is designed to allow pupils to proceed at different paces and give the option of an extra “foundation year” to pupils who find the jump from GCSE to A-level difficult. Sure Start and Adult Education provision are also located on the site as is an LEA maintained special school. OFSTED expressed “serious concerns” about the standard of education the Academy provided after a two-day visit in June 2005. It criticised high rates of exclusion, inconsistent behaviour policies and an unsatisfactory curriculum lacking breadth and balance. There were 265 fixed term exclusions in one year, more than treble the previous year, and 20 pupils permanently expelled. OFSTED said that not only were the number of suspensions very high, but decisions had not been uniformly applied. The West London Academy has since been inspected for a second time in March 2006 and has been found to be inadequate, with the academy’s performance continuing to be monitored. Improvements had been made since the previous inspection in July 2005 (which led to the departure of the Academy’s highly paid principal to another post connected to the sponsor, Sir Alec Reed). The new principal was praised by inspectors. Pupils made satisfactory progress at Key Stage 3 but both GCSE and A level results fell between 2004 and 2005. In September 2005 pupils missed a weeks lessons after the new buildings, costing £37m were declared unfit for use. The funding of the Academy is detailed in the promotional material for the West London Academy. It states that the £37m Academy has been funded through: £5.1m from Ealing local education authority to build the John Chilton complex (school for primary and
high school students with special needs), £600,000 from the Learning and Skills Council to provide accommodation fro the adult and community learning service, £200,000 from Sure Start to provide the nursery, £200,000 from Active Ealing for the fitness suite and £2.5m from Alec Reed. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) New school Oasis Academy Specialism and Age Range Business and enterprise 11-19 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Oasis, a Christian trust
Due to open September 2007
NUT concerns/additional information In July 2004 the Times Educational Supplement reported that the Christian charity, the Oasis Trust, would be sponsoring an Academy in Enfield, north London which will open in 2007. The Oasis Trust has stated that its Academy would be open to children of all faiths and would not try to convert pupils. The trust has stressed that the Academy would be open to children of all faiths and would not try to convert pupils. The trust was founded by Steve Chalke, a high-profile Baptist minister and television presenter. The Oasis Trust has set up a consultancy called Faith Works to help Christians set up Academies. The group has campaigned for faith organisations to be allowed to employ only people of their religion and provides advice on how to avoid anti- (homosexual) discrimination laws. It suggests that organisations “committed to up-holding the sanctity of sex being part of marriage” should include this in their standards for staff behaviour. Details of the proposed Academy appeared on the DfES website in October 2004. The “Times Educational Supplement” (25 August 2006) reported that the Oasis Academy, due to open in September 2007, faced opening in mobile classrooms as the budget for the school would not cover building costs. The leader of the Council said that the
DfES were refusing to release the additional £4 million needed to complete the work, which is in addition to the £29.9 million committed in the Funding Agreement. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) St Paul’s Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Secondary School St Paul’s Academy NUT concerns/additional information Proposal to establish a new Academy in Abbey Wood. The DfES Academies web page states that the new Academy will replace St Paul’s Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Secondary School and be situated on the site of the existing Abbey Wood School. In September 2005 the Times Educational Supplement revealed that the archdiocese of Southwark will have to pay only £200,000 to sponsor St Paul’s Academy. The Academy, currently on the site of St Paul’s Catholic secondary, will move in 2007 to new buildings on playing fields at nearby Abbey Wood comprehensive, the school it is to replace. Greenwich council is to sell the St Paul’s site in 2007 and give £1.8m of the proceeds to the archdiocese so that it can meet its £2m contribution to the Academy. Specialism and Age Range Sport and enterprise Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Archdiocese of Southwark
Open September 2005. New building will be completed in 2007
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of
Specialism and Age Range
Progress of Proposal
Academy (where announced) New School Mossbourne Community Academy
Clive Bourne, Life President of cargo company Seabourne World Express, will contribute £2m.
Announced January 2002. Open September 2004
NUT concerns/additional information The Academy is to be built on the site of Hackney Downs School, which was closed in 1995 when it was dubbed the worst comprehensive in the country. On 17 January 2002 “The Guardian” stated that a spokesman for the Hackney Teachers Association, said that the school would cost £20m to build. Lord Richard Rogers will design it. An article in “The Independent” on 25 February 2002 stated that Hackney Council plans to sell the playing fields of the former Hackney Downs School. Clive Bourne donated £10,000 to Frank Dobson’s bid to become London mayor. He is also founder of the New Docklands Museum and a JP. In February 2003 the Times Educational Supplement reported that Sir Michael Wilshaw had been appointed to lead the Mossbourne Community Academy. Currently headteacher of St Bonaventure’s school in Newham, he was knighted for services to education in 2000. In May 2003 the Daily Telegraph reported that the high performing London girls’ school, the North London Collegiate, would be helping to set up and run the Academy. Bernice McCabe the school’s headmistress said that she would be helping to select a head for the Academy and would be assisting in establishing its ethos and education agenda. The Academy will open with Year 7 pupils only. It will eventually serve 900 pupils aged 11-16.
The DfES Academies website states that the “Academy is planning to accept pupils with a Statement of Special Needs for Autism, whereas other headteachers are reluctant to do so (as informed by The Learning Trust).” In May 2004 the Times Educational Supplement reported that the actor Sir Michael Caine and Harold Pinter, the playwright, are backing the new Academy to built on the site of their old school. Both will be patrons of the Academy. More than 500 children have already taken entry tests to win one of the 180 places at the Academy. Figures released in April 2005 by the Academy Sponsors Trust show that Mossbourne is heavily over subscribed. In September 2004 the number of applicants who named the school as their first choice exceeded the number of places by a ratio of 3 to 1. In April 2005 the Times Educational Supplement reported that teachers had already expressed concern that the new building (opened March 2005) would not be able to cope with the 900 pupils it was supposed to accommodate. Graham Cox, vice-principal of Mossbourne, said that architects did not always appreciate how much space children needed. The Times Education Supplement of 9 March 2007, carried a very positive article about the Mossbourne Academy. “If he (Principal, Sir Michael Wilshaw) succeeds (in raising test results), he will have achieved the holy grail of English education: an inner city comprehensive with a “tough” intake achieving results up there with the leafy suburbs.” LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Proposal to replace Kingsland School (closed August 2003) The Petchey Academy Specialism and Age Range Medicine and healthcare 11-18 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Jack Petchey Foundation
Announced February 2004 Open September 2006 (Year 7 pupils only)
NUT concerns/additional information In March 2003 the Division reported that Hackney Learning Trust’s consultation on secondary strategy outlined plans to open a second Academy to replace Kingsland School. In February 2004 information on the Academy appeared on the DfES Academy website. The Academy will open with Year 7 pupils only in 2006. The Academy will eventually admit 900 pupils aged 11-16 and a further 300 in the sixth form. The Academy will work with London medical schools and hospitals to encourage pupils to consider careers in medicine. It will focus on health, having a training kitchen and restaurant where students can cook meals and sit around a table to eat them. Hackney Council suggested Petchey Academy’s medical specialism, with the intention of ‘breaking the traditional mould that medicine is a career only for people from affluent backgrounds and give more young people from deprived backgrounds in Hackney the chance’. (TES, 04/08/06) LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) New school built on site of Laburnum Primary School which closed in August 2003 Specialism and Age Range 11-16 maths and music Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
UBS (financial services company)
Announced February 2004 Open September 2007
The Bridge Academy NUT concerns/additional information Proposal to build a new Academy on the site of the Laburnum Primary School in Shoreditch. The Academy will open in 2006 and will admit 900 pupils aged 11-16 and 250 in the sixth form. UBS is the first financial services company to sponsor an Academy. The first intake of students will be in September 2007. The school will start with 180 year 7 students, growing with each year’s intake, until it reaches capacity in 2013 with 1150 students, including 250 6th form students. In its first year the school will open in specially designed temporary buildings LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Burlington Danes C of E 11-16 School Specialism and Age Range 11-18 Arts and maths Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Hammersmith and Fulham
Burlington Danes Academy NUT concerns/additional information
Absolute Return for Kids (ARK), education charity. To be run in partnership with the diocese of London.
Open September 2006 – didn’t open
The school will work with the local Lyric theatre and the BBC, and plans to open its own 300-seat theatre. The 1,200-pupil academy will be divided into four distinct small ‘schools’, emulating US charter schools. ARK has flown in Jay Altman – a teacher who pioneered charter schools in New Orleans in the early 1990s – as education director. (TES, 04/08/06) Burlington Danes school was put in special measures in July 2004 and came out in May 2006. Ofsted said that “behaviour and
attitudes had improved significantly”. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) St David and St Katherine CE High School The Greig City Academy NUT concerns/additional information Sponsored by the Church of England, this was to be known as the First Academy and was due to be launched in September 2001. Problems with land transfer arrangements, rejected by the Charity Commission in summer 2001, have delayed its opening to September 2002. The Academy will now open as the Greig City Academy after the local charity sponsor, the Greig Trust. As a voluntary aided school, St David and St Katherine CE High School has had a long association with the Greig Charity, founded by the grocery company. Funding of £12m has been allocated for building renovation, in addition to the specialist schools per capita amount of £123 per pupil and the Government writing off the school's £700,000 overspends. The DfES has said that Greig City Academy will have an admissions policy and Christian ethos very similar to that of a maintained faith school. A number of concerns have been raised with the Union regarding teachers’ pay and conditions and job security. There has been a massive turnover of teachers, with 58 leaving in the last 12 months. New staff have been recruited largely from FE and from overseas. They were not therefore acquainted with the teachers' pay and conditions document. The Division has had to spend Specialism and Age Range ICT 11-18 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
The Greig Trust has provided funding of £1.5m and the Diocese of London has provided £500,000
Announced October 2000. Opened September 2002
considerable time briefing members on what would be fundamental expectations in other schools. Despite the turnover, the number of members in the school has doubled, following regular visits by local officers to the school. The Division lobbied to ensure that the overspend would be written off by Government rather than from the LEA schools budget. A governing body has been established with representatives from the Greig Trust (As an independent school, this is not a shadow governing body), the Diocese, and the London Diocesan Board. It has been under pressure from the DFES to prevent contracts incorporating the Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document. It sought to introduce a contract based on 1400 hours instead of 1265 in return for additional payment. Two years of negotiation by the Division with the support of regional office and the threat of ballots for action resulted in a shift by the Governing Body to offer all teachers two types of contract, one based on the Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document and one based on 1400 hours with additional payment. There is also to be in both contracts a clause by which a teacher can by May 31st for the following September opt to move to the other type of contract. The majority of teachers have opted for the Teachers' Pay and Conditions type contract. Further discussions on the detail of the contract are taking place. The Division is also meeting the Governing Body of the School of St David & St Katharine to establish under TUPE the status of all local agreements and conditions of service to be incorporated in a schedule to the contract (As a VA school, they are seeking to deny that any of these apply). There has however been a unilateral decision to vary the pay date and delays in progressing outstanding payments to teachers, which the Division is also seeking to resolve. Following negotiations in the summer holiday with the Academy Governors final agreement was reached on the wording of the contract. All teachers at the school, new teachers as well as those transferring are now being given a choice between clauses based on the Pay and Conditions Document (TPACD) or 1400 hours. The Division is advising members to sign subject to agreement on job descriptions and accurate letters of appointment setting out management allowances (there are reported to be a considerable number of members for whom these are outstanding). The Governing body has agreed in principle to incorporate local agreements for new as well as well as existing teachers. A joint exercise has started between the LEA and the Teachers’ Panel to revise and update all local agreements. They will then be put to the Governing Body.
The Division has reported that the headteacher of Greig City Academy is now directing the teachers on the TPACD contracts to teach the three additional lessons per week formerly taught only by those on the 1400 contract. An analysis of his time budget shows that he is thereby attempting to direct more than 1265 hours per year for teachers who have opted for the TPACD clause and is thought to be using this as a lever to persuade teachers to opt for the 1400 hour contact. The Division has arranged to meet with the school to discuss the situation in more detail. In September 2002 the “Times Educational Supplement” reported that the Academy had been forced to launch an advertising campaign for pupils. Advertisments encouraging parents to enter their children for Year 7 had been distributed outside supermarkets shortly before its official opening. It also put 16,000 leaflets through letter-boxes and hired a man to walk through Haringey wearing an electronic display board. The school has a capacity for 215 pupils in Year 7 but is believed to be well below this. This is thought to be due to the troubled history of the school that it replaces. The LEA is reported to have around 200 refugee and Asian pupils without a school place but the Academy has refused to take them. In October 2002 the Division reported that an associate headteacher had been brought in to help run the school. The Division has met with the Governors and Principal to ask that time budgets for the current school year are adjusted to ensure that teachers on TPACD contracts are directed for no more than 1265 hours and that those on the 1400 hour contract are directed for no more that 1400 hours. The meeting was unproductive. Requests for a further meeting have been ignored. The Division has therefore approached the Union's Action committee who have agreed that an indicative ballot of members for sustained discontinuous strike action should be held. A meeting at the school for NUT members with Division representatives was called to outline the Union's strategy on directed time. The Principal asked the Division for details of the content of the meeting before he would give permission for the meeting to take place. The Division declined to enter into discussion on this with the principal and held the meeting (which was exceptionally well attended) in an adjacent hostelry. Members voted unanimously in support of a ballot for strike action. In April 2003 the Evening Standard reported that an unofficial OFSTED inspection had found that more than one in four lessons at the Academy were below standard. OFSTED reported that 26 per cent of lessons were “poor” and stated that improvement in pupil
achievement and progress “needs to be greater and more rapid”. A new chief executive, David Triggs, principal of the Greensward College in Hockley, Essex, has been drafted in by the DfES to start work after Easter 2003. The situation at the school has improved under new management. The new principal has recognized the need for close working relationships with the Union and constructive talks have been taking place on the contracts issue. As yet there are no finalised proposals. In 2003 Greig City Academy achieved an increase in pupils attaining 5 or more A*-C grades at GCSE from 25 per cent in 2002 to 35 per cent. With a value added score of 101.2, the Academy is in the top 25 per cent of schools. In November 2004 the Times Educational Supplement reported that there had been a fall in the percentage of pupils gaining five or more GCSEs A*-C. Its new headteacher ,Paul Sutton, is the Academy’s third head since it opened in 2002. The Academy buildings are still not finished because of slow progress on the inner city site. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Hereford Waldorf School Specialism and Age Range 5-16 + Early years nursery places for 3-4 year olds Natural Environment NUT concerns/additional information Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Steiner Schools Waldorf Fellowship
Announced October 2005 due to open September 2007
The proposed Academy will replace and slightly expand, the existing Hereford Waldorf School. It will cater for 286 pupils aged 5-16 with an additional 15 full time equivalent Early Years nursery places (for 3-4 year olds). In the longer term the school plans to extend to age 18, with up to 54 more students. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Evelyns Community School Stockley Academy Specialism and Age Range Science and Technology 11-18 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Barry Townsley, Chairman of Insinger Townsley Stockbrokers will donate £1.5m. Also involvement from other parties
Announced December 2000. Open September 2004. Moved to new buildings September 2005
NUT concerns/additional information The DfES press release (published December 2000) states that additional sponsorship is being provided by CISCO, who will be siting a CISCO networking Academy at the school, and Brunel University who have agreed to support both the staff and pupils with access to their resources. It mentions that other local business support includes HASBRO, one of the world’s largest toy and games companies, which will be providing literacy mentoring, Jarvis Plc and BAA. Barry Townsley donated £10,000 to Frank Dobson’s bid to become London mayor. He also chairs the UK branch of Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science. LEA Name of School to be Specialism and Age Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) John Penrose School Harefield Academy
Range 11-18 rural Academy with a sports specialism David Meller and Watford Football Club pledged support of up to £1.5m Announced 2003 Open September 2005
NUT concerns/additional information In December 2001, the Regional Office received information about a second Academy proposed for Hillingdon. The school concerned is John Penrose School. The sponsors of the proposed Academy are likely to be the Directors of Watford Football club. The proposal will involve close links between the Club and the school. Training facilities would be developed at the school, which would be used, jointly by Watford Football Club and the school. The Academy would provide post-16 education for the Club’s young professional players. It is thought that the reason the proposal is for Hillingdon, rather than Watford or the surrounding areas, is that Hertfordshire LEA is not enthusiastic about the proposal. The Division has confirmed that the proposal is likely to go ahead and to be an all-through Academy (5-18). Initial reaction from the staff at John Penrose School has been supportive. The infant school needs rebuilding and becoming an Academy is seen as a means of obtaining the funding for the new building. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) New Academy on site of Brunel University Specialism and Age Range 16-19 mathematics, science, engineering and technology Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
HSBC Education Trust and Brunel University
Announced January 2005 Due to open September 2007 – Plans have now been shelved
NUT concerns/additional information
The Academy will cater for 800 students aged 16-19. Local headteachers are unhappy about the proposals and believe that the Academy would threaten school sixth forms in Hillingdon if they lost students to it. The authority already has two Academies – Stockley and Harefield which are based at schools with a 16-18 age range. In March 2006 Brunel University has shelved plans to build an Academy for 16-19 year olds on its campus because it has more pressing needs for its land. The other site offered is on green belt land and would have to go through an extended planning process to gain building permission LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Mary Magdalene Primary School New academy NUT concerns/additional information The consultation on the London Diocesan Board sponsored Academy is being managed by 3Es. In April 2005 the Islington Tribune newspaper reported that local parents had said that the consultation process for the Academy was is flawed and 3Es have admitted problems with the distribution process. Parents have disputed the figure that there was 60 per cent support for the Academy proposals. They claimed the “yes” vote for the Academy did not represent the feelings of the majority of parents and said that out of the 400 returned papers which they checked, 80 per cent opposed the Academy proposal. The London Diocese of the Church of England and 3Es denied the consultation result was unrepresentative and maintained that it was undertaken thoroughly and ethically. However, it has been revealed that multi-occupancy homes received only one consultation paper each and that photocopies of the questionnaires were accepted. Specialism and Age Range 5-16 with possible post 16 facilities Humanities and Citizenship Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
London Diocesan Board for Schools
In development – information appeared on DfES website in February 2004 Due to open September 2007
It is proposed that the Academy will have 30 per cent of places for “practising Christians” and 70 per cent “open” places for all pupils, irrespective of their faith. The Academy proposals would involve the closure of the popular Mary Magdalene Primary School. In September 2005 it was reported that the Academy proposals had been given the go ahead despite 650 people signing a petition against the scheme. In April 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that parents were trying to block the Academy proposals on the grounds that it would threaten children’s human rights. Lawyers have applied to the High Court for a judicial review of the decision to close St Mary Magdalene primary school. Papers submitted by Matrix chambers say that the “closure of the primary school could lead to a reduction in the rights and protections afforded to pupils and parents”. Parents argue that there is a risk that children’s access to fair rules over admissions, exclusion, special needs and discipline will be under threat. The test case, which seeks a review of the decision by the Office of the Schools Abjudicator to close the primary, could have huge bearings on government plans to create 200 Academies by 2010. In May 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that a senior judge had agreed to hold a judicial review into the decision to close St Mary Magdalene primary school. The Church of England, which is sponsoring the Academy, has said that it does not expect the hearing to delay plans to open the Academy in 2007. In August 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that The High Court had ruled that the Academy should proceed, disagreeing with campaigners’ claims that they would erode children’s human rights. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Specialism and Age Range Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Kensington and Chelsea
Science 11-18 Academy
Local authority and London Diocese Board for Schools
Announced October 2005 due to open in September 2009
NUT concerns/additional information The DfES website states that the new Academy will be sponsored by the London Diocese Board of Education and in close partnership with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The Academy will have 810 places for 11-16 pupils and a further 250 places for sixth form study. In March 2007 the Evening Standard reported that the Chelsea Academy could become the most expensive school to be built in London. The Academy had an original budget of £38m but Kensington and Chelsea council will effectively have to sign a blank cheque to cover budget over-runs that could be millions of pounds. Council papers also show that the new buildings will be at least a year late. The Academy was due to open in Lots Road in September 2009 but the first pupils will be housed in temporary classrooms as the buildings will not be ready until September 2010. A report to Kensington and Chelsea’s Conservative cabinet said the council would have to cover 30 per cent of “temporary accommodation and additional design fees”. An active campaign involving parents, teachers and the division is underway in Kensington and Chelsea to fight the proposed Chelsea Academy, which is a new school on a constricted site on a busy road. LEA Name of School to be Specialism and Age Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal replaced/ Name of Range Academy (where announced) Kent (i) Ramsgate School Business and the Roger de Haan, Chief Open September 2005 performing arts Executive of Saga The Marlowe Academy Holidays providing £1m 11-18 Academy of sponsorship through family trust. Kent LEA is also supporting the project form capital
receipts. Pfizer, the drugs group, has contributed a further £1m towards an endowment fund for the school. NUT concerns/additional information In October 2002 the TES reported that Roger De Haan, the chairman of Saga had offered £1m towards the cost of building an Academy in Ramsgate. Saga is based in Folkestone where it employs 2,000 people. It is building a new office block in East Kent, bringing in another 750 jobs. The Division has reported that the school to be replaced would be the Ramsgate School. It has been in serious weaknesses although has now come out and it has poor results at GCSE. The Authority has tried to turn it around by “re-branding” it several years ago and by bringing in a very successful Headteacher. She has now retired and the notion of closing the school and reopening it as an Academy is now being floated. Staff at the school are reported to be generally supportive of the proposals. It is proposed that the Academy will be a total rebuild and located on a new site. The Division has reported that the DfES is not supportive of the new site proposals and will only support the proposals being on the current site. The Academy would specialise in business and the performing arts. It is anticipated that ten per cent of the new Year 7 cohort will be selected on the basis of their aptitude for the Academy’s specialism. In August 2003 the Evening Standard reported that three out of four teachers at the Ramsgate School had been told by the acting headteacher, Mario Citro, that they had two months to improve after the start of the new term or face the sack. The previous head, Nick Hunt, resigned in May 2003 after OFSTED declared that the school was failing, to be replaced by two heads seconded from other successful Kent schools; Mario Citro from Castle Community School in Deal and Keith Hargreaves from Canterbury High School. The Evening Standard reported that when the new term started each teacher would be given the opportunity to agree targets for improvement. If they fail to hit them they will be placed on a “fast-track” procedure, which will result in dismissal if they do not improve in a further four weeks.
In October 2003 the Times Educational Supplement reported that since the threat to introduce fast-track capability proceedings five teachers had resigned and left, one was due to leave shortly and three were leaving after Christmas. Another three were on sick leave. The Ramsgate School had had to draft in youth workers to cover the resulting staff shortages, two of whom were not qualified teachers. The school also had another five unqualified staff working as teachers. The division has since reported that after Kent Division declared a collective dispute about proposals to use “fast track” capability procedures and, after representations, the threat was withdrawn. Of the 12 teachers originally threatened with dismissal, 2 faced capability proceedings but were given additional time to prove their competence. None were actually placed on fast track procedures. Keith Hargrave, executive head of the Ramesgate School has stated that the unqualified staff are under supervision and are only temporary. The 12 teachers originally threatened with dismissal were having their futures decided during interviews. Of the first six interviewed none have been put on the fast track to dismissal. Two were facing capability proceedings but had been given an extra four weeks to prove their competence. The proposed opening date for the Academy is 2005. The school will cater for 1100 pupils. The Ramesgate School’s GCSE results improved significantly in the summer of 2005 before the school became an Academy. In May 2004 the Times Educational Supplement reported that Ian Johnson, former head of a struggling Oxford secondary, would become principal of the Marlowe Academy. In November 2005 the Division reported that Ian Johnson had moved a number of his staff from his old school into senior positions at the Academy. In February 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that the Marlowe Academy would be allowing small businesses to be set up at the Academy as part of a plan to give pupils first-hand experience of industry. Business units will be built into the school and rented out to local firms, providing extra cash or the school.
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Channel School Folkestone Academy
Specialism and Age Range Media arts and European culture 11-18 Academy
Progress of Proposal
Roger de Haan providing sponsorship of £2m and the King’s School, Canterbury.
In development. Due to open in September 2007
NUT concerns/additional information The DfES Academies website states that the proposed Folkestone Academy will replace the Channel School (11-16). It will be a new build 11-18 school. Roger De Haan, chairman of Saga holidays has pledged support of £2m for the proposed Marlowe Academy in Kent. The King’s School Canterbury will contribute £250k a year in kind in the form of shared curriculum materials and joint arts ventures. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Leigh CTC will convert to an Academy. Academy will be a new build Specialism and Age Range Technologies, business and enterprise and sport Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Kent LEA providing funding of £2m
Due to open as an Academy in September 2007
NUT concerns/additional information
The Academy will cater for 1500 pupils. LEA Name of School to be Specialism and Age replaced/ Name of Range Academy (where announced) North Huyton Academy 11-16 Environment Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Jointly sponsored by the Anglican Diocese and Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool
Due to open in September 2008 Announced on DfES website in October 2005
NUT concerns/additional information The DfES website states that the Academy is part of a whole are reorganisation of education in Knowsley and will contribute to the regeneration work of the North Huyton New Deal for Communities. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) New School will be sited on the former Henry Thornton School in Clapham. Lambeth Academy NUT concerns/additional information Lambeth’s new Academy will meet a need for additional secondary school places. It was originally due to be sponsored by CfBT Specialism and Age Range Business and enterprise with a language specialism 11-18 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
United Learning Trust (subsidiary of the Church School’s Company) providing funding of £2m
Announced September 2000. Church Schools Company announced as sponsors January 2002. Open September 2004
Education services who announced in January 2002 that they could not afford a £2 million donation. The Church schools Company’s involvement came after the company’s Chief Executive Ewan Harper met Andrew Adonis: “I went to Number 10 and was told a Academy had been announced in Lambeth but the corporate sponsor had dropped out. We were asked if we would be prepared to take it on.” The United Learning Trust is a subsidiary of the Church schools Company. Dame Angela Rumbold, Minister of Education in the late 1980’s, chairs the Trust. The United Learning Trust is sponsoring Academies in Lambeth, Manchester and Northampton. It plans to create 10 Academies. The Church Schools Company has stated that it does not possess a cash generating foundation and that it does not have the money to sponsor new schools without the help of individuals, trusts and businesses. In January 2001 an article in the “Financial Times” said that local campaigners were angry at the Church School’s involvement and would rather have a millionaire private sponsor. The “Financial Times” went on to say that the CSCo runs eight private schools, including Guildford High School for Girls. While its schools have a Christian ethos, it plans open entry at Lambeth and considers its historic name a “misnomer”. The paper states that CSCo has ambitions to run several Academies and is keen to encourage other independent schools to enter the new market. It plans to use Internet technology to link the new Academy with its existing schools. Whilst the Church Schools Company’s share of the funding for the Lambeth Academy comes to £2m the money will not come from its own funds. Various private trusts have pledged more than £1m and some parents have made donations. In the last decade the company has invested £25m in buildings, facilities and information technology. In February 2003 the Times Educational Supplement reported that Pat Millichamp, currently headteacher at Risca Community comprehensive school, Caerphilly, had been appointed principal of Lambeth Academy. The Academy will be designed to take account of pupils with visual impairments. The Union has been having regular meetings with the United Learning Trust in relation to teachers’ contracts and the educational aspects of the Academies being sponsored by ULT (including the Manchester Academy which has been in operation since September 2003) with further meetings scheduled to continue into next year. The teachers’ organisations are continuing to press ULT on contractual issues, particularly on working time and non-contact time.
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Agnes Stewart and Braim Wood schools The David Young Community Academy
Specialism and Age Range Design and construction 11-18
Progress of Proposal
Church of England and Intercity Companies
Announced September 2002 Open September 2006
NUT concerns/additional information The Anglican Diocese sponsored Academy will be a new school and will replace the inner city Agnes Stewart school which has been threatened with closure. In June 2001 an article in “The Times Educational Supplement” said that the planned September 2003 opening had been put back, due to difficulties in attracting sponsors to help finance the Academy. The Academy is now likely to open in 2004. Braim Wood school was rated satisfactory by Ofsted in 2001 and results have risen steadily since (TES, 04/08/06). In November the Division reported that the proposal to establish an Academy was now out for formal consultation. The implementation timetable envisages Agnes Stewart and Braim Wood schools closing in July 2004 but the Academy being ready in September 2005. In the intervening period the Academy would exist on two sites run by the new board of trustees. The public consultation over the establishment of the Academy has raised a number of serious issues. Braim Wood is an all boys community school, Agnes Stewart is a Church of England voluntary-aided school. There is very strong opposition amongst Braim Wood parents and staff to the removal of their option of all boys education and to the suggestion that the Academy might be a faith school. Education Leeds’ proposals state that the Academy would not be a Church of England faith school but would have a distinctly Christian ethos. Braim Wood, however, has a significant number of Muslim pupils and they have objected to this.
In April 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that a parent was awarded £250 in compensation after her son was denied a place at the Academy. The mother complained after her son was one of 54 children from the two closing schools refused a place promised by the council at the new Academy. Parents had been told in writing that children would be admitted, even though Academies control their own admissions numbers. Parents of 240 Leeds children starting secondary school in Autumn 2006 made the Academy their first choice, with just 180 places on offer. In August 2006 the Yorkshire Post reported that Education Leeds, the body running the city’s schools, had lodged a formal protest with the Government over the David Young Community Academy’s plans to use “fair banding” in deciding which children got places. Lord Adonis rejected its concerns, branding them “unreasonable”. Fair banding sees pupils tested and placed in one of a number of ability bands with the school taking set numbers from each band. Critiques argue that it is a covert selection process used by schools to take more high-performing pupils than they would normally get at the expense of local children. Education Leeds warned the Government fair banding could see children living “very close” to the new school miss out on a place. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) New school Specialism and Age Range Business and Enterprise, delivered with a strong emphasis on food technology 3-16 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Jointly sponsored by Leicester Diocesan Board for Education and Samworth Brothers (Holdings) Ltd.
NUT concerns/additional information
In 2002 the Division reported that an Academy was planned for the City of Leicester. The council closed six schools three years ago as part of a £26m overhaul to tackle poor standards and cut surplus places. Many schools are now over-subscribed. It is proposed that one of the schools will be re-opened as an Academy for three to 19-year-olds. As the Academy would be a new school it would be drawing from other neighbouring schools. The Division has contacted local schools to inform them of how they would be affected. The Division has met with the Director of Education and has reported that whilst the council is currently consulting on the proposals they do already appear to be quite far down the road with the plans. The Director is from the DfES and is believed to be very keen on the initiative. In May 2002 the Division wrote an open letter to Ross Willmott the Leader of Leicester City Council regarding the councils proposals for an Academy. The letter was copied to all Leicester City Councillors and stated that the plans for an Academy were divisive, dishonest and would drive teachers out of the city. Other teaching unions are also reported to be against the plans. The plans for an Academy have now gone to an independent review. In February 2003 it was reported that the NUT and other teaching unions were to hold a vote of no confidence in Leicester City Council’s Director of Education, Steven Andrews, and the councillor in charge of education, Brian Roberts. The Council has hired private consultants to canvas parents on the proposed Academy
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Proposal to replace St
Specialism and Age Range Business and
Progress of Proposal
Due to open in September 2007 – some
Joseph’s Academy and enterprise Our Lady of Lourdes 4-16 Academy Primary School St Matthews Academy NUT concerns/additional information
Southwark and the De La Salle Brothers
delays partly due to planning objections from local residents.
Proposal for a 3-16 Academy to replace St Joseph’s Academy and Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School. The Archdiocese of Southwark is also sponsoring the proposed Academy in Greenwich. The school will be mixed, replacing the boys only St Josephs. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Haberdashers’ Aske’s City Technology College Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College Academy Specialism and Age Range Federation to have shared specialism of information and communications technology combined with sports science at Malory and music at HAHC 11-18 NUT concerns/additional information Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College (HAHC) already has a separate admissions policy to LEA schools. The schools use a Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Haberdashers’ Livery Company
Opened September 2005
separate banding process to that used by the community schools in the borough which has, historically, allowed HAHC to select a more academically able intake. A letter in the Times Educational Supplement (24.2.06) exposed the distance from school critieria used by the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College, Lewisham as favouring middle class families by using distance from one of its two sites only. The letter also points out that the Academy has changed its specialism from technology to music to enhance its intake of able pupils. At the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust Conference (30 November 2006), Sir Cyril Taylor cited the improved examination results of the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Knights Academy (formerly Malory School) in Lewisham as rising from 9 per cent (5 A-C GCSE) in 2005 to 29 per cent in 2006. Lewisham Division reported that some of this improvement was due to entering pupils for GNVQs: the improvement for 5 A-Cs including maths and English was 6.9 per cent to 14.4 per cent. He also reported that pupils at local primary schools were no longer getting places at what would have been their local secondary school. Both Haberdashers’ Academies were listed in the top 12 most oversubscribed schools in an Evening Standard survey (21 December 2006). LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Malory School has been replaced by Haberdashers’ Aske’s Knights Academy Specialism and Age Range Federation to have shared specialism of information and communications technology combined with sports science at Malory and music at HAHC 11-18 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Haberdashers’ Livery Company
Opened September 2005
NUT concerns/additional information Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College (HAHC) already has a separate admissions policy to LEA schools. The schools use a separate banding process to that used by the community schools in the borough which has, historically, allowed HAHC to select a more academically able intake. The Academy is currently based in temporary buildings. In February 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that the new Academy building would cost more than £38 million to build, making it the most expensive school in the country. Ministers have singed off a funding package for the new building, expected to cater for 1,300 pupils and due to be completed in May 2007. This is almost three times that devoted to other new state schools. The Haberdashers’ Livery Company, is contributing only £295,500 to the overall costs. The Times Educational Supplement reported that the reason for the Government agreeing to this small sum was because of the company’s “educational expertise” and its £704,500 contribution towards the £7m cost of converting Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham from city technology college to Academy. A letter in the Times Educational Supplement (24.2.06) exposed the distance from school critieria used by the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College, Lewisham as favouring middle class families by using distance from one of its two sites only. The letter also points out that the Academy has changed its specialism from technology to music to enhance its intake of able pupils. The National Audit Office report on Academies, published in February 2007 revealed that the steering group overseeing the building of Haberdashers’ Aske’s Knights Academy had decided to deomolish and rebuild a perfectly good sports hall to avoid a £4.25m VAT bill. The sports hall, part of the predecessor school was described as “fairly good” by auditors. But keeping it would have meant the whole project being classed as a refurbishment, leading to the whole project being classed as a refurbishment, leading to full-rate VAT charges. The tax does not apply to new buildings. At a total cost of £40.4m, the Academy is the most expensive to be built so far. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Anfield and Breckfield Specialism and Age Range Business and Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Liverpool University and
Announced January 2002
Schools North Liverpool City Academy
Granada Learning, an educational trust. A third sponsor, Stanley Fink, Chief Executive of Man Group plc, will contribute to the building phase of the project.
Open September 2006.
NUT concerns/additional information In May 2006 the DfES Academies website listed there being five Academies proposed for Liverpool. Details were not given of all the proposed Academies. Breckfield School is in Special Measures but became one of the ten most improved schools last year, with a 29% rate of A* to Cs. However, it is faced with steadily falling rolls because of depopulation. Anfield School is a popular and over subscribed school of around 1100. In 2003, Ofsted said that Breckfield was making ‘satisfactory progress’ and Anfield was ‘effective’. (TES, 04/08/06) The Academy will provide 1350 places for pupils between the ages of 11-16 and will provide additional places for students who stay on into the sixth form both for academic and vocational courses. There is strong opposition to the scheme from parents who feel that they are being blackmailed over the closure of the schools. Parents have been told that there will be no repairs to the existing schools if the Academy does not go ahead. On 26 January 2002 an article appeared in the Liverpool Echo regarding the proposed Academy and the local NUTs’ response. On 6 February a letter from the General Secretary was published in the Echo confirming the reasons for the Union’s opposition to the Academy initiative. The Division has sought advice on the procedures for the closure of the existing schools and on pay and conditions issues. The Academy project manager has said that teachers’ conditions will be protected under a TUPE transfer and that they are not looking
for redundancies. North Liverpool Academy was originally due to be sponsored by millionaire businessman Cyril Dennis. In March 2002 ‘The Times Educational Supplement’ reported that Cyril Dennis had withdrawn his bid following threats of violence to him and his family. A new sponsor is now being sought. The 3Es company, is reported to be giving advice on how the Academy should operate but has denied that it is the sponsor. The 3Es company is an offshoot of the Kingshurst CTC, which is responsible for the management of two LEA secondary schools in Surrey under contract. The company is also operating the Bexley Business Academy. In November 2002 the Division reported that the Academy had been approved by the City Council. Parents, councilors and officers are reported to be against it but it is being pushed as it is seen as the only way to obtain funding. In December the University of Liverpool announced that it would take over sponsorship of the Academy. Granada Learning, an education resources company will lead the trust set up to run the Liverpool Academy. A spokesperson for the company confirmed the sponsors would be jointly committing £2.75m to the project, but some of that contribution would be made in books, training for teachers and lesson planning software rather than cash. In November 2005 the Division reported that many members were at risk of redundancy with the Academy employing new staff and TUPE not being applied. In May 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that around 26 staff at Anfield and Breckfield comprehensives which are due to close in the summer to make way for the new Academy, are being made redundant. The DfES is part-funding severance payments. In May 2006 The Times Educational Supplement also reported that some new Academy staff with teaching responsibilities would be paid a fraction of an experienced teacher’s wage. An advertisement on the Academy’s website for a “dance instructor/teacher”, who would “teach dance through the age range and organise exhibitions and shows” offers a salary of just £15,000. Three pastoral “head of house”, posts are advertised at £18,000. The Academy says these “specialist support roles” will “not necessarily” be filled by teachers.
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Our Lady’s Roman Catholic School. The Academy of St Francis of Assisi
Specialism and Age Range Science and the environment 11-16
Progress of Proposal
Diocese of Liverpool, will Announced September 2002 contribute £2m, with the Open September 2005 Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool contributing £250,000
NUT concerns/additional information In May 2006 the DfES Academies website listed there being five Academies proposed for Liverpool. Details were not given of all the proposed Academies. A second Academy is proposed for Liverpool. An “ecumenical” bid has been received from the Church of England and the Catholic Church. The Academy would replace a very small threatened Catholic School but would aim to double pupil numbers. This bid has given the LEA some concerns as in a situation of surplus secondary places it might cause problems. In January 2004 the BBC reported that the Academy had sparked local opposition because it threatened park land. If it gets the goahead the current plans for the Academy will encroach on part of Newsham Park. The park is one of the City’s oldest. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where Specialism and Age Range Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
announced) Belvedere School (a fee paying independent school run by the Girls’ Day School Trust) The Belvedere Academy
Modern and Foreign Languages. 11-18
Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) and Sutton Trust
Announced May 2006 Due to open September 2007
NUT concerns/additional information In May 2006 the DfES Academies website listed there being five Academies proposed for Liverpool. The Belvedere Academy was announced by the DfES in September 2006. The Academy aims to cater for 800 pupils, including 250 in the Sixth Form. It aims to open in September 2007 in its original buildings with an additional block (for sixth form), to accommodate the increased roll, due to be completed by September 2009. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Barnfield West and Central Academy Specialism and Age Range No information available yet Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Announced by DfES in September 2006
NUT concerns/additional information
In April 2006 the Times newspaper reported that Barnfield College in Luton would become the first FE college to sponsor an Academy when it takes charge of two schools as part of a £120 million programme. Halyard High School and South Luton comprehensive will be replaced by Academies, run as part of a federation with the college. If it goes ahead it will be the largest and most expensive Academy project to date. The Academies and the college will have a combined register of more than 33,000 students. The college will spend £4m to sponsor the two Academies which will cost between £25 and £30 million each to build. If the proposals are approved Barnfield will take charge of the comprehensives in September 2007 and they will be replaced with Academies in 2009. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Barnfield South and East Central Academy Specialism and Age Range No information available yet Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Announced by DfES in September 2006
NUT concerns/additional information In April 2006 the Times newspaper reported that Barnfield College in Luton would become the first FE college to sponsor an Academy when it takes charge of two schools as part of a £120 million programme. Halyard High School and South Luton comprehensive will be replaced by Academies, run as part of a federation with the college. If it goes ahead it will be the largest and most expensive Academy project to date. The Academies and the college will have a combined register of more than 33,000 students. The college will spend £4m to sponsor the two Academies which will cost between £25 and £30 million each to build. If the proposals are approved Barnfield will take charge of the comprehensives in September 2007 and they will be replaced with Academies in 2009. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Specialism and Age Range Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Academy (where announced) Ducie High School Manchester Academy
Business and enterprise 11-19
Manchester Science Park and the United Learing Trust (The Church Schools Company)
Announced July 2001. Open September 2003
NUT concerns/additional information The Manchester Science Park provides accommodation for more than 70 companies and is, collectively, the largest employer in the Moss Side and Hulme area. There has been concern at local NUT level that uncertainty over the future of Ducie High school has led to experienced senior staff moving on and remaining staff becoming demoralised. Discipline standards have deteriorated and staff have reported a dramatic increase in violent and abusive behaviour by pupils. It has been promised that the Academy will not have a selection policy so it is likely that the existing pupils will form the core of the school. The problem of the deficit budget of the existing school will cease to be the LEA’s responsibility. The Dulcie High school in Manchester was subject to a several million refurbishment programme. The decision to knock the school down and replace it with an Academy will mean that this goes to waste. In May 2002 the DfES announced that the Church Schools Company, through the United Learning Trust, would act as a cosponsor with Manchester Science Park. The Church Schools Company is already sponsoring Lambeth Academy. It is an ecumenical Christian educational charity with eight independent schools and is committing £575,000 to the Academy in Manchester. Concerns have been raised over whether the Church schools Company’s Christian ethos could meet the needs of pupils in a school where around 60 per cent are from ethnic minorities. The United Learning Trust is a subsidiary of the Church schools Company. Dame Angela Rumbold, Minister of Education in the late
1980’s, chairs the Trust. The United Learning Trust is sponsoring Academies in Lambeth, Manchester and Northampton. It plans to create 10 Academies. The Church Schools Company has stated that it does not possess a cash generating foundation and that it does not have the money to sponsor new schools without the help of individuals, trusts and businesses. In June 2002 the Manchester NUT office reported that the LEA has started formal consultation on the closure of Ducie High school subject to the establishment of an Academy. The “Times Educational Supplement” reported in September 2002 that staff at Ducie High School had written to parents complaining that the company’s existing schools are in “predominantly white middle class areas” and therefore it has no experience of working with black and Asian communities. The Church Schools Company’s Chief Executive, Ewan Harper, has said that admission will be open to anyone: “There will be no faith qualification at all. We are not out to evangelise.” In October 2002 the Division attended a meeting with the project manager for the proposed Academy and a human resources advisor to the Church Schools Company. The Division was informed that TUPE would be “honoured to the letter”. Teachers in the Academy would continue with the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. No information was available on conditions of service for new starters. The Union has been having regular meetings with the United Learning Trust in relation to teachers’ contracts and the educational aspects of the Academies being sponsored by ULT (including the Manchester Academy which has been in operation since September 2003) with further meetings scheduled to continue into next year. The teachers’ organisations are continuing to press ULT on contractual issues, particularly on working time and non-contact time. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Temple school Specialism and Age Range Engineering and sport specialism Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
King’s school, Rochester
In development Announced on DfES website in February 2004
11-18 Academy NUT concerns/additional information LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Tamworth Manor High School Harris Academy Merton NUT concerns/additional information In 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that over the past 3 years, Tamworth Manor High School’s 5 A*-C GCSE score has jumped from 19 to 31 per cent. (TES, 04/06/08) There was a legal challenge by a parent to the building of an Academy in Merton, but the High Court ruled that the academy should proceed, disagreeing with the campaigner’s claims that they would erode children’s human rights. (TES, 04/06/08) LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Mitcham Vale School Specialism and Age Range Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal Specialism and Age Range Sports and Enterprise 11-18 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Lord Harris of Peckham, carpet magnate
Open September 2006.
Science and Enterprise Church of England; Toc H, education charity;
Open September 2006.
St Mark’s Church of England Academy NUT concerns/additional information
Centre for British Teachers
Mitcham Vale School came out of special measures in May 2006 and was declared to be making ‘sound progress’. (TES, 04/08/06) In July 2006 a parent won the first round of a legal challenge to prevent his son's state school being converted into a sponsored academy. Rob MacDonald was given permission by the high court to seek a judicial review of Merton borough council's decision to close the school attended by his 15-year-old son Callum, Tamworth Manor, and another school, Mitcham Vale. Mr MacDonald, from south London, argued that parents were not properly consulted about the council's proposals or provided with sufficient information. The High Court has since ruled that the Academy school proceed.
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Keldholme and Langbaurgh Schools, with a new build taking up to 1,200 pupils. Unity City Academy
Specialism and Age Range ICT 11-16
Progress of Proposal
Amey plc (construction and management firm). Providing an investment of up to £2m and in-kind support. Already involved in Waltham Forest LEA outsourcing with Nord Anglia.
Announced October 2000. Opened September 2002.
NUT concerns/additional information None of the replaced secondary schools are failing but there is a major problem of falling rolls. Academy faces escalating costs £30m possible. The LEA is providing the site and supports Amey’s proposal. Middlesbrough sees the Academy programme as providing an opportunity for a brand new school and facilities, under a new leadership team to drive up standards. A second Academy sponsored by the Vardy Foundation is also due to open in another part of the City. Lord Patten, the former Conservative Education Secretary is a non- executive director of Amey plc (information taken from an article in “The Times” on 13/10/2000) The Union has now reached an agreement with the East Middlesbrough Academy whereby there will be no deviation from the Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document and full access to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. School Standards Minister David Miliband opened Unity City Academy on 13 September 2002. Despite formally opening in September the new buildings had not even been started at this point – David Milliband was concerned that there was just a green field where he thought the new building would be. Brian Staples, Chief Executive of Amey plc, was present at the opening and said that the Academy was Amey’s: “opportunity to contribute to innovation and leadership in learning – and a strong commitment to supporting public services in Middlesbrough and the North East.” It is intended that the Academy will eventually open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year – either in the building or on-line. There will be open access for all members of the community to facilities that will include a lecture theatre, performing arts studio, and a Learning Resource centre with Internet Café. The Academy will have a work-focused curriculum and strong links to business. Amey intends that business and commercial partners should become ‘integral to delivering learning opportunities’, invited to ‘contribute to learning and teaching, the mentoring of students and to share their experience and knowledge.
Unity will be funded as an 11-16 school, but it will also provide a range of adult and community learning opportunities. These operations are to be managed on a business footing and could place the Academy in direct competition with other providers in the area. David McGahey, Managing Director, Education, Amey is Chairman of the Trustees of Unity Academy. Members of the Governing Body will be the directors of the Trust. It is made up of seven sponsor governors, three of which may be employees of the sponsor, the Principal, one parent governor, one teaching staff governor, one non- teaching staff governor and one LEA governor. The governance model will provide an opportunity to develop the role of the private sector. The governing body of Unity Academy will be more like the board of a company rather than the governing body of a school and will line manage the school principal. David McGahey has stated that it will be a tighter relationship with a very clear focus: “ My company’s reputation is on the line with the City Academy so I have a greater stake in making it a success from the private sector business point of view”. In November the Division reported that the clearing of the site had started. The new buildings were now due to be handed over at Easter 2004 – Four terms after the Academy formally opened. Difficulty with staffing has continued as an issue from the previous schools – Some key ‘Head of Department’ level posts still need to be filled along with some shortage subject main scale posts – At present it is proposed to try to fill these posts with AST’s and link them to whole school teaching and learning development. This idea is at an early stage at present and the Division is closely involved in negotiations In April 2003 the Division reported that due to continuing recruitment problems and long-term sickness absence the Academy had brought in between 25-30 supply teachers. The Headteacher has excluded 14 pupils from the school, leaving it to the LEA to place them in other schools. The DfES website states that Unity City Academy is heading for over subscription, having already been first choice for 225 applicants for 2004 entry, a significant increase over previous years. In its first year the percentage of pupils attaining 5 or more A* -C grades at GCSE was roughly the same as achieved by the two predecessor schools in 2002.
In November 2004 the TES reported that the Headteacher, Edward Brady had quit. Mr Brady is believed to have been asked to resign following a difficult first two years. The Academy was criticised after expelling 18 pupils in 2002-3 and 14 in 2003. Results have been slow to improve and in 2003 17.6 per cent of pupils left with five good GCSEs. The Greig City Academy has had the highest turnover of heads. Graham Horsewood quit last year after inspectors criticised teaching standards and pupil behaviour. The Unity Academy, has admitted it has been overspending by around £500,000 each year. The problems were revealed by trustees of the academy, which is sponsored by the building and support services company Amey. Joe McCarthy, chair of the trust, said that new leadership at Unity had been left with a "legacy of financial, management and educational failings" and that redundancies would be needed. Unity will also establish a federation with another school, Macmillan College, to help it to resolve its problems. In May 2005 it was reported that Unity had become the first Academy school to be failed by OFSTED. It was warned that it must go into special measures after a critical report by inspectors. Inspectors described a catalogue of weaknesses ranging from “fragile” leadership, an inappropriate futuristic building and a high staff absence rate with up to a third of teachers off sick on any given day. The lack of continuity had had “a detrimental effect on the pupils’ learning, attitudes and behaviour and standards.” The Times reported that it was already in rescue talks with the DfES after over spending its budget by £1.5m. Ten teachers and several support staff are set to be made redundant to end overspending. Remaining teachers were told that they would have to work more hours for the same pay under new contracts. Unions have been in talks with the Academy after a ballot for industrial action was held. As well as concerns over redundancies and changes to contracts, staff at the school are concerned over pupil behaviour. The school is believed to be spending around £250,000 a year on supply cover and there is reported to be a lot of long term sickness with 20 or 25 teachers off sick at any given time with stress and general ill-health. Mike Griffiths, the Academy’s interim Chief Executive, said that the school had agreed a recovery plan to bring spending back into line. “After that it could mean us paying it back or the Department for Education and Skills making a contribution, but we have been told quite clearly what the expectations on us are” he said. In June 2005 the Government confirmed that it would pay off Unity’s overspead.
Doubts have been cast over plans to form a federation with Macmillan technology college. In February 2006 the Middlesbrough Evening Gazette reported that the Principal of Unity, Martin Lang, had left his job after less than a year in the post. OFSTED’s most recent inspection of Unity Academy (2006) said that it has made “inadequate progress” and remained in special measures. Pupils made exceptionally poor progress, although behaviour had improved, with significantly fewer exclusions. The school buildings, modeled on a Tuscan mountain village, were again criticised as being impractical and making pupils feel unsafe and insecure.
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Brackenhoe Comprehensive and Coulby Newham Schools King’s Academy
Specialism and Age Range Business and Enterprise 11-18
Progress of Proposal
The Vardy Foundation run by Sir Peter Vardy (Reg Vardy car dealership) Also known as the Emmanuel Schools Foundation
Announced July 2001. Open September 2003.
NUT concerns/additional information None of the replaced secondary schools are failing but there is a major problem of falling rolls. Academy faces escalating costs £30m possible.
The Vardy Foundation already sponsors the Emmanuel City Technology College in Gateshead and is developing a further Academy project in Gateshead. In 2006 Emmanuel College was judged outstanding by OFSTED for the third time in a row but the school has been involved in controversy regarding creationism. Emmanuel’s headteacher is on the appointment committee for staff at King’s Academy. In October 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that the head of science at Emmanuel college had been named as one of the directors of Truth in Science, a group behind new teaching materials which cast doubt on Darwin’s theory of evolution. The group is sending every secondary school department in the UK the lesson plans – which include a booklet, DVDs and links to a new website – encouraging teachers to consider the strict Biblical interpretation of life on earth in GCSE and Alevel science. In 2000 Peter Vardy offered £12m to endow six City Academies across the North-East, aiming to replicate the results at Emmanuel, but so far only Middlesbrough has taken him up. He was awarded a knighthood for services to education in the North East in 2001. In September 2002 School Standards Minister David Miliband visited the construction site to see the work in progress on the new building that will replace Brackenhoe Comprehensive and Coulby Newham Schools. In November 2002 the Division reported that building work is now well underway and the roof is being fitted – The project is on target for completion on time in summer 2003 – For opening in September 2003 The CA will include a “Sixth Form” this has caused a new interest in school based sixth forms in the town (but outside the LEA) There are already reported to be too many student places in this sector and competition is likely to cause future difficulties. The staffing structure is based around the funding that the Academy has already secured – The Academy is still to arrange a structure for special educational needs and support. This is especially important as one of the schools has recently absorbed the secondary section of the LEA’s school for the deaf. In November the “Times Educational Supplement” reported that concerns had been raised that the Academy was appointing teachers because of their religious beliefs. The Academy had been accused of bias towards Christians by some staff members from the schools that it is replacing. David Vardy has denied all accusations and has stated that appointments will be made solely on the basis of ability. Parents’ groups and teachers have also expressed concern about the Christian ethos of school, the extent of which, they claim was
not made clear. Parents also have concerns regarding the fact that there will only be one parental representative on the governing body for the Academy, this appointment has still to be made. In March 2003 the Times Educational Supplement (TES) reported that Nigel McQuoid, principal of Emmanuel City Technology College would also run King’s Academy. The paper stated that the Academy would share Emmanuel’s approach of teaching creationism. Emmanuel was criticised in 2002 after it was revealed that teachers taught biblical theories of creation alongside evolution. In May 2003 the TES reported that a former teacher at Emmanuel City Technology College had been suspended for disobeying an order from the principal not to talk to other staff of his concerns about the school. The teacher stated that he had been shocked by assemblies where pupils were warned of hellfire if they failed to heed the Christian message. The TES also reported that Sir Peter Vardy was planning to fund another five academies in the Northwest. Peter Vardy has said that he would consider more mixing and matching of senior staff as the Vardy Foundation’s portfolio of schools expands. A handful of key staff from the Emmanuel have already gained posts at King’s, including a head of science and vice principal. A unit for pupils with visual and hearing impairments is planned. The Division has asked that a recognition agreement be drafted between trustees of The King’s Academy and those TUC affiliated trade unions currently recognised by Middlesbrough Council for the purposes of collective bargaining. In July 2003 the TES reported that closed-circuit television was to be installed in every classroom at King’s Academy. The Vardy Foundation has stated that the cameras will be in place to “protect, not spy on” teachers. Richard Coupe, the original head of the Kings Academy was demoted to vice-principal before walking out in 2003. The Kings Academy has had to made staff cutbacks. Eight lunchtime supervisors have been made redundant and more jobs could go in coming months. Nigel McQuoid, the principal, said the staff, who were transferred to the academy from Middlesbrough council when it opened last year, were no longer needed. It is thought the redundancies will save around £12,000 a year. Staffing levels are now being reviewed across the school. LEA Name of School to be Specialism and Age Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Macmillan CTC
Range 11-18 Outdoor education, PE and Science Macmillan CTC Trust Announced on DfES website October 2004 Open September 2005
NUT concerns/additional information Macmillan CTC in Middlesbrough will convert to an Academy and will be sponsored by the Macmillan Trust. The Academy will provide 1100 places for 11-16 year olds, and a further 335 places for a sixth form. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Sir Frank Markham Community School Specialism and Age Range 11-18 Business enterprise Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Edge, educational foundation
Announced on DfES website September 2006
NUT concerns/additional information In Milton Keynes the Academy will be based on The Sir Frank Markham Community School. The school opened in 1979 and currently has 1400 students. It serves a wide area to the south of the city centre. The academy proposal is for an eight-form entry for ages 11 to 18 academy with 240 students in each of Years 7 to 11 and a sixth form growing to 350 students; a significant increase on current numbers. The proposal would mean the closure of Sir Frank Markham Community school; a local comprehensive on the earmarked site, in 2008. The school is bottom of the league tables in Milton Keynes, with 21 per cent of students achieving five Cs or better at GCSE last year. But the school has never been failed or put on the at-risk list by OFSTED, which at its last inspection praised the school
for “facing its challenging context well”. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) West Gate Community College Excelsior Academy NUT concerns/additional information In December 2004 The Times reported that millionaire Lord Irvine Laidlaw was hoping to establish an IT business Academy to replace West Gate Community College in Newcastle. Thirty-three languages are spoken at the school and 60 per cent of pupils get free school meals. Forty-three per cent are registered as special needs. The school is an improving school. In 2004 about a third of pupils achieved an A-C grade in five GCSEs compared with just eight per cent in 2000. Lord Laidlaw, who has a personal fortune of £500m intends to offer affordable restaurants, healthcare and adventure training courses to persuade people in Newcastle to back his plans. He has stated that he wants to create “not just a school, but a community centre”. His plans have been condemned by union leaders and a local Labour MP. The division has reported that it is very concerned with the consultation process and feels that the local community has not been properly consulted. The results of a questionnaire in which the local community were asked their views on the Academy are reported to have been disregarded. LEA Name of School to be Specialism and Age Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal Specialism and Age Range 11-16 + 300 places for sixth form students ICT and business Enterprise Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay
Announced on DfES website in October 2005. Due to open in September 2008
replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Lings Upper School Northampton Academy
Range 11-18 Sports and business and enterprise United Learning Trust (The Church Schools Company). Announced August 2002 Open September 2004. Moved to new building September 2006
NUT concerns/additional information The Academy will replace Lings Upper School as part of a wider schools reorganisation in Northampton. The Church Schools Company, founded in 1883 is now the largest single sponsor of the Academy scheme, having pledged sponsorship of more than £4.5m to create Academies in south London and Manchester and Northampton. The United Learning Trust is a subsidiary of the Church schools Company. Dame Angela Rumbold, Minister of Education in the late 1980’s, chairs the Trust. The United Learning Trust is sponsoring Academies in Lambeth, Manchester, Northampton and Westminster. It plans to create 10 Academies. The Church Schools Company has stated that it does not possess a cash generating foundation and that it does not have the money to sponsor new schools without the help of individuals, trusts and businesses. The Union has been having regular meetings with the United Learning Trust in relation to teachers’ contracts and the educational aspects of the Academies being sponsored by ULT (including the Manchester Academy which has been in operation since September 2003) with further meetings scheduled to continue into next year. The teachers’ organisations are continuing to press ULT on contractual issues, particularly on working time and non-contact time. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Specialism and Age Range Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Northampton (ii) (Corby)
Corby Community College
11-18 Sports and business and enterprise
Garfield Weston Foundation, Bee Bee Developments and Brooke Weston GTC
Announced February 2004 Due to open September 2007
NUT concerns/additional information The Academy will provide 1000 places for 11-16 year olds and a further 250 places at the sixth form. It is planned to open in new buildings in September 2007 opening (date given on DfES website was originally September 2006). LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Immingham School Immingham Academy NUT concerns/additional information Immingham Academy will replace Immingham School and is due to open in new buildings in 2008. The Division has reported that the Oasis Trust is working with North East Lincolnshire Council and the DfES on plans to replace two local schools with Academies. If the proposals go ahead then both Wintringham Secondary School and Immingham Comprehensive School will become Academies. In March 2007 the regional office reported that the Oasis Trust are to set up two two Academies to replace Immingham School and Winteringham School. Specialism and Age Range 11-18 Engineering with business and enterprise Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
North East Lincs (i)
Announced May 2006 Due to open September 2008
North East Lincs (ii)
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Wintringham School Oasis Academy
Specialism and Age Range 11-18 Sport and health with business and enterprise
Progress of Proposal
Announced May 2006 Due to open September 2008
NUT concerns/additional information It is anticipated that the proposed Academy will incorporate a new Healthy Living Centre providing integrated educational and health services to the local community.
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Djanogly CTC incorporating Forest School Djanogly City Academy
Specialism and Age Range ICT 11-19
Progress of Proposal
Sir Harry Djanogly, chairman of Nottingham University
Announced December 2001. Open September 2003.
NUT concerns/additional information The Academy will be formed from closing a secondary school with the site going to the Djanogly City Technology College. The staff
of the 2 schools will therefore operate under two different sets of pay and conditions. The Division has reported that a staffing structure has not yet been produced for the Academy and that there was confusion about: whether TUPE applied, the rights of existing staff to posts at the Academy, pay and conditions etc and the responsibility of the LEA on staff protection. Nevertheless, 10 posts have been advertised in the TES on the main pay scale. The DfES is heavily involved in the transition arrangements but this has not resulted in making matters clearer. It has been established that teachers in the Academy will be entitled to belong to a teachers’ union, but unions would not be recognised for negotiating purposes. Regarding pupil admissions, a reasonable allocation (140) of catchment area places has been agreed, 10% will be selected by aptitude. Most pupils on the roll of the former LEA school are likely to be given places at the Academy. The position of more recent asylum seeking pupils is unclear. A fund is to be provided by the DfES for restructuring but no severance fund has been allocated. Sir Harry Djanogly is already the sponsor of Djanogly City Technology College which he helped set up under the Conservative government. He also sponsors the Victoria and Albert museum, Royal National Theatre, Tate Britain, and Hampstead Theatre. Four years ago he donated £2.1m to Nottingham University. His various gifts and donations have led to a gallery, lecture theatre at Nottingham University and a playground being named after him. He received a knighthood in 1993. In November 2002 the Division reported that some pupils are to be taught temporarily in a converted factory some distance from the main CTC site. It is planned that Forest school will be pulled down and a new building, designed by Norman Foster will be on the site In August 2003 the DfES Academies web page stated that Years 7-9 will be educated in a new building on the Forest site with years 10-13 educated in the former Djanogly building. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) River Leen and Henry Mellish schools Specialism and Age Range 11-18 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Edge, Educational foundation
Announced by DfES in September 2006 Due to open in September 2009
Enterprise Bulwell (Enterprise ) Business Academy NUT concerns/additional information The new Academy will be formed from the amalgamation of the River Leen and Henry Mellish schools. Edge, a charity established by examination board, Edexcel when it was bought by Pearson, has been named as the sponsor of two Academies in Nottingham and Milton Keynes focussing on vocational courses. Edge’s website states that Bulwell Academy will have a broad-and-balanced approach to the National Curriculum together with ‘learning-by-doing’ opportunities, such as high-quality work experience and mentoring through real businesses and organisations, which are outside of statutory educational requirements. A number of innovative schemes are being planned, including adjacent business units where students can see real business practices and engagement with local businesses, further education providers and higher education institutions to become a test bed for accrediting achievement in this unique environment. Edge's principal objective is to promote the status of vocational and practical learning in the educational system. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Nottingham (iii) On the site of William Sharp Comprehensive Bilborough Academy Specialism and Age Range Health sciences Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
David Samworth with the Approved by the DfES. support of the University Due to open in September 2009 of Nottingham
NUT concerns/additional information The Academy will be sponsored by the millionaire businessman David Samworth, the former owner of Nottingham-based Pork Farms. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Drayton School Banbury Academy NUT concerns/additional information The DfES website states that the Academy will specialise in media and communication and will benefit from support from Vodafone. The division reported problems at the ULT-sponsored North Oxfordshire Academy regarding weekend training “preparing for life in
the academy” and the subtle pressure on staff to attend. The division is meeting ULT on this matter.
Specialism and Age Range 11-18 Media and communication
Progress of Proposal
Oxfordshire County Council and the United Learning Trust
Announced May 2006 Due to open September 2008
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Deacon’s school, John Mansfield School and Hereward Community College
Specialism and Age Range 11-18 Science and maths
Progress of Proposal
Deacon’s Trust and Perkins Engines
Due to open September 2006 –in October 2004 opening date changed to September 2007
The Thomas Deacon Academy NUT concerns/additional information In August 2003 the DfES announced that the Peterborough Academy project had been approved to move into the next stage of development, the feasibility stage. The DfES has asked the city council and prospective sponsors to work up detailed plans for the school over the next six months. Consultations on the proposals will follow with parents, school staff, residents and employers. Subject to the Secretary of State approving the plans the Academy will open in September 2006 – now September 2007. In February 2004 the DfES Academies website stated that the Academy would replace 3 schools: Deacon’s School, John Mansfield School and Hereward Community College. The new Academy, which will be the largest Academy yet with around 2200 students aged 11-18. In January 2007 the Times Educational Supplement reported that the Academy planned to recruit teachers by offering innerLondon salaries. The increased pay will come at a price as teachers will be expected to work up to 15 days extra per year, giving pupils booster classes and exam preparation. Thomas Deacon will be partnered with the nearby Oundle independent school allowing staff and pupil exchanges between sites. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Thamesbridge College Specialism and Age Range 11-18 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
John Madejski, property
Announced October 2004
and publishing magnate and Chairman of Reading Football Club providing funding of £2m
Open September 2006
NUT concerns/additional information Proposal to establish an Academy to replace Thamesbridge College in South Reading. The Academy will provide 1100 places for 11-18 year olds. It is due to open as an Academy in Thamesbridge College’s existing buildings in September 2006, moving to the new buildings in September 2007.
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Canon Williamson Church of England School Salford City Academy
Specialism and Age Range Business and enterprise and sports 11-16
Progress of Proposal
United Learning Trust has pledged £1.5m in funding.
Announced February 2004 Opened September 2005. Moved to new building September 2006
NUT concerns/additional information Salford City Academy replaced the Canon Williamson High School. It is the fifth Academy to be opened by the United Learning Trust (The Church Schools Company) and is sponsored in partnership with the Manchester Diocese. The Academy has been established in the predecessor school and will move to a new building in September 2006. The Academy is an 11-16 school with places for 750 pupils and its specialism is Sport with Business and Enterprise.
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Academy will be on the former Thomas Telford School site in West Bromwich Sandwell Academy
Specialism and Age Range Business enterprise and sport 11-18
Progress of Proposal
Thomas Telford Online and the Mercers’ Company (an offshoot of Thomas Telford CTC) HSBC, Tarmac Group Ltd (construction company) and West Bromwich Albion Football Club pledged a total of £2m
Announced September 2002 Open September 2006. The Academy will initially open with Year 7 pupils only.
NUT concerns/additional information The Division has reported that the LEA sees the establishment of an Academy as a means of lifting pupil progress up the LEA league tables by attracting more able pupils. The Academy is designed to stem the flow of students seeking Secondary Education out of the Borough and also forms part of the LEA's Regeneration Proposals. In February 2002 the LEA reported to the Division that it had made significant progress in securing sponsorship for the Academy. The LEA also reported that Secondary Head teachers have been regularly informed of developments. There are concerns however that all relevant parties, including Governors, were not been informed of the plans for an Academy. The Academy will be built on the former Thomas Telford school site, together with the Albion Junior site. The Albion Junior School will be relocated to a new location. The Division has reported that the site is very close to junction 1 of the M5 on the north eastern boundary of the borough and believes that transport could be a problem. The site is part of a regeneration plan for that part of the borough and has been designated for business activity. The Division reported that the Director of Education and Lifelong Learning recently described the school Stakeholders’ Forum as a “business”. Sir Kevin Satchwell, Head of Thomas Telford CTC, will be heavily involved in
applying trade to the business. The fact that the Academy is situated on the north eastern boundary of the borough means that it is ideally situated to attract pupils outside the borough rather than local pupils. The Academy’s admission policy would mean that the Academy would take children from five ability bands ranging from well above average ability to well below, children from six “nodal” points (otherwise known as towns) within the borough. These children would be from the five ability bands so that six very bright children could be chosen from each town straight through to six children from the lower ability. Town committees would ratify the process of selection. The LEA has still to decide on the final admissions arrangements and have stated that the final number of places in each band will mirror the ability of the applicants to ensure a comprehensive intake. Where a band has more applicants than places those applicants that live closest to the ”nodel” point will receive priority. In a November 2002 report to the Cabinet Advisory Team for Education the LEA stated that the admission arrangements would be the governing body’s responsibility. It is not clear how this would link in with the work of town committees. There would also be facilities for short-term admission to the school for children with special educational needs or talents. The school would have a sixth form. The school would take 1,200 (including 300 in the sixth form) children out of the present secondary education system and there are fears that this could enforce the closure of one of the existing primary schools. The November report to the Cabinet Advisory Team for Education and Lifelong Learning recommends that the Advisory Team endorse the partnership established between the Council and the Academy sponsors. The report mentions that the Cabinet Advisory Team has already approved an additional allocation of £1m to provide for the preparation of land at the former Thomas Telford School site to facilitate the development of the Sandwell Academy. The authority sold the land to the sponsor for £1. It states that the cost of demolition of the Albion Junior School premises is covered in the specification for the existing PFI contract, to replace five primary phase schools within the Borough. The report goes on to mention that the DfES has confirmed that additional site abnormal costs beyond the level of commitment from the council could be considered within the overall Academy budget. The sponsors have indicated that the estimated project costs of the Academy scheme, including the previously agreed council contribution of up to £1m toward the preparation of the land of the former Thomas Telford site is in excess of £27.5m. The scheme cost, however, excludes the cost of a future swimming pool and a future Business Centre, both of which will be subject to additional funding initiatives.
A report issued by Sandwell council in March 2003 provides more detail on the Academy’s admission procedures. It states that in the 2005/6 year the Academy will admit pupils to Year 7 only. There will be 180 places available. Initially, 30 places will be available for pupils living in each of the six towns (Oldbury, Rowley Regis, Smethwick, Tipton, Wednesbury, and West Bromwich) which make up Sandwell. All applicants will sit a test, to help ensure that applicants of all abilities are admitted to the Academy. Applicants from each town will be placed in one of 5 ability bands of equal size, based on their score in the test. There will be 6 places available in each band. Where there are more than 6 pupils placed in a band, first priority will be given to pupils who are in public care. Thereafter, priority for places in each band will be given to pupils living closest to the reference point in their town. If there are fewer than 30 applicants from the town, then all pupils will be offered a place and remaining places will be offered to pupils living outside the town, but closest to the reference point for the town. The March 2003 report to the Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning states that the governing body will have membership drawn from sponsors or their representatives (always in the majority), membership from the local community, representation from the LEA, staff and parents. The report states that given the aspiration for high class sporting and community facilities over and above the levels funded by the DfES, it is evident that new external funding sources will be required, including further sponsorship. In May 2003 the Division reported that secondary head teachers in Sandwell, whose schools specialise or intend to specialise in the Academy’s chosen specialism (sport and business studies), saw the Academy as direct competition, both in terms of staff retention and pupil admissions. Therefore as a direct consequence and to counter the competitive nature of the Academy, a number of secondary head teachers were now considering approaching their Governing Bodies with proposals that governors consider changing admission policies of their establishments to select up to 10 per cent of their pupils to fill the specialist places. The curriculum organisation provision will be based upon the same arrangements at Thomas Telford School. The majority of teaching will be in three hour sessions. There will be a ten session week with two additional sessions in Key Stage 4. The school day will be organised into sessions 1, 2 and 3 with Session 3 work (post 4.000pm) being a combination of learning, cultural, sporting, musical performing and community activities. In June 2003 the Division reported that whilst the Academy catchment areas are defined geographically to focus on the six towns the DfES had recently indicated that, in order to meet legislative requirements, the precise boundary of the catchments couldn’t be
coterminous with the Borough boundary. Therefore the catchments are being drawn to overlap beyond the Borough. The DfES is advising on how best to achieve this. The councils backing of the Academy is dependent on the satisfactory completion of the five primary school PRI project to contact stage. All teacher trade unions in Sandwell oppose the setting up of the Academy. The Division has reported that the Academy does not recognise Unions. LEA Name of School to be Specialism and Age replaced/ Name of Range Academy (where announced) Dartmouth High School Design and enterprise 11-18 NUT concerns/additional information In August 2005 the Division reported that Government approval had been given to turn Dartmouth High School into an Academy. Building work is expected to begin in autumn 2006 with the Academy due to open in 2008. The Academy will provide for 900 pupils aged 11-16 with a further 250 students in the sixth form. The Academy will be sponsored by businessman, Eric Payne, OBE, and his wife. It will specialise in design and enterprise and have a Christian ethos. Eric Payne is Founder of the Grace Foundation, a charity to support Christian work. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where Specialism and Age Range Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Announced by DfES May 2006 Due to open September 2008
announced) Myrtle Springs School Sheffield Springs Academy
11-18 Performing arts and technology
United Learning Trust
Announced January 2005 Open September 2006
NUT concerns/additional information The school will cater for 1300 pupils aged 11-18 In August 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that Mahmoud Khayami, an industrialist who fled Iran in 1979, would be the principle sponsor of the United Learning Trust’s two Academies in Sheffield – Sheffield Springs Academy and Sheffield Park Academy. The United Leaning Trust says the Academies will have a Christian ethos like its other schools. The Trust has praised Mr Khyami’s contribution, saying “We both share the desire to give young people of all faiths and none the education they deserve. Mr Khayami’s commitment to inter-religious dialogue and contribution to industry and education are well known.” Mr Khayami made his fortune in Iran building and exporting cars, before founding a charity to promote causes such as the education of underprivileged children and understanding of Islam. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Waltheof Comprehensive Sheffield Park Academy NUT concerns/additional information Second ULT Academy in Sheffield. It will cater for 1300 pupil aged 11-18 Specialism and Age Range 11-18 Business and enterprise Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
United Learning Trust
Announced January 2005 Open September 2006
In August 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that Mahmoud Khayami, an industrialist who fled Iran in 1979, would be the principle sponsor of the United Learning Trust’s two Academies in Sheffield – Sheffield Springs Academy and Sheffield Park Academy. The United Leaning Trust says the Academies will have a Christian ethos like its other schools. The Trust has praised Mr Khyami’s contribution, saying “We both share the desire to give young people of all faiths and none the education they deserve. Mr Khayami’s commitment to inter-religious dialogue and contribution to industry and education are well known.” Mr Khayami made his fortune in Iran building and exporting cars, before founding a charity to promote causes such as the education of underprivileged children and understanding of Islam. Ofsted said in November 2004 that Waltheof Comprehensive was making ‘reasonable progress’. (TES, 04/08/06) In August 2006 the Times Educational supplement reported that teachers at Waltheof Comprehensive were angry that Waltheof was being demolished to build the Academy, just 8 years after it was rebuilt at a cost of £5 million. They claim to have been left in the dark about new contracts and how the way the new school will be run. They are also concerned that Andy Gardiner, Waltheof’s head, will not take permanent charge of the school, despite earlier assurances that he would. A spokesman for the Trust said the Academy was going ahead as planned and had won support from most parents consulted. He said it would have been too expensive to keep part of the existing Waltheof campus. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Langleywood School Specialism and Age Range 11-18 Science Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Arbib Foundation will contribute £2m
Announced October 2004 Due to open September 2008
NUT concerns/additional information Proposal to establish an Academy to replace Langleywood School. The Academy will provide 900 places for 11-16 year olds and a
further 250 places for a sixth form. It will specialise in science and will develop curriculum opportunities in environmental science, sports science, health studies, food science, care, medical physics and public service. The Academy will be a new build. The consultation document states that the Academy will be sponsored by the Arbib Foundation. The project will be managed by 3E’s Enterprises. The consultation document does not mention the fact that 3E’s has been taken over by GEMS. 3E’s before it was taken over by GEMS, had its genesis in the foundation of Kings College in Surrey. Parents will not know how the approach introduced by GEMS will influence any future Academy, as this is not outlined with the prospectus. GEMS is part of an Abu Dhabi based initiative which intends to set up a range of cut price private schools in England. GEMS founder, Dubai businessman Sunny Varkey says he hopes to manage around 200 schools in the UK. In 2004 GEMS stuck a deal with a cigarette importer to build new schools. GEMS and the Dubai based Alokozay Group plan to create a network of fee-paying schools in Afghanistan. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Whitesmore school Grace Academy 11-18 Specialism and Age Range Business and enterprise Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Bob Edmiston, Chairman and Chief Executive of IM Group Limited, contributing sponsorship of up to £2m
Open September 2006
NUT concerns/additional information In January 2003 the Division reported that an Academy was proposed in Solihull. It is supported by the LEA, which believes that it is the only way of getting a newly built school in the area. The proposed school a “state of the art” Business and Enterprise Specialist College will replace Whitesmore School in North Solihull. The Academy would not have a selection process and would
have a catchment area the same as the school it would replace. The Council has said that TUPE rights will apply to all staff and that apart from selecting a new Principal, all staff from the existing school would be wanted by the new school. In June 2005 Ofsted said that teaching at Whitesmore school had “improved” and “behaviour was good overall.” The Academy will be sponsored by the IM Group, which has property and car trade interests. The IM Group’s Chief Executive, Bob Edmiston has a “traditional view of education”, favouring a daily act of collective worship, Christian values, and strong discipline. He runs a group called Christian Vision, a charity to spread Christianity around the world. The sponsor is believed to look favourably on the educational approaches taken by Emmanuel CTC and Thomas Telford CTC. In 2002 Emmanuel CTC was reported to be promoting creationism as an alternative to the theory of evolution. It is expected that the Academy will open in 2006. It was reported in “The Guardian” on 5 March that Grace Academy had awarded three contracts totalling £281,000 over two years for payroll and management services to the IM Group, a company owned by Bob Edmiston, the car dealer and property developer who sponsors the Grace Academy. Bob Edmiston is an evangelical Christian who founded Christian Vision, which has been involved in circulating teaching resources on creationism to schools. The Academy also paid £53,000 to Christian Vision for management services. The DfES said that there were strict rules governing the awarding of contracts by Academies, including the need to obtain at least three quotations but refused to say why these rules had been breached. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Kingshurst CTC Kingshurst Academy 11-18 Specialism and Age Range Technology and the visual arts Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Trustee of the Kingshurst CTC
Announced on DfES website in May 2006 Due to open September 2008
NUT concerns/additional information The sponsors, the Trustee of the Kingshurst CTC, propose to convert the CTC into an Academy. The Academy aims to cater for 1,550 pupils aged 11-18, with the provision of boarding facilities being examined. Kingshurst CTC has already involved in the management of a number of schools through the 3Es company.The 3Es company is an offshoot of the Kingshurst CTC, which is responsible for the management of two LEA secondary schools in Surrey under contract. The company is also operating the Bexley Business Academy. In 2005 the 3E’s company was sold to Global Educational Management Systems (GEMS), run by Dubai businessman Sonny Varkey LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) New school City of London Academy NUT concerns/additional information In February 2002 Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, blocked plans for the Academy to be built on Paterson Park in Bermondsey. The Corporation of London has indicated that it will appeal against his decision. The Mayor acknowledged the need for the school but said that it should not replace another public amenity. He has offered to help find an alternative site. An article in “The Times” in February 2002 stated that last year parents were so dissatisfied with the available school places that they set up their own classes. This has since been overturned and the Academy will now be built on the Paterson Park Site. Specialism and Age Range Business and Enterprise 11-18 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Corporation of London has pledged support of £2m
Announced March 2001. Open September 2003.
The LEA is fully supportive of the Academy and has acknowledged the need for additional secondary school places. In January 2003 the DfES Academy website stated that the Academy would be built on the Paterson Park site. The Academy will serve 1200 pupils aged 11-18 when filled to capacity. It will be built up gradually from Year 7 pupils. A hearing impairment unit is planned for the Academy. The Academy opened in September 2003 for 180 Year 7 pupils but the building is 18 months behind schedule. The TES has reported that the children have to take a bus three miles across the Thames to East Dulwich to work in ten portable buildings on a disused playground. The Division has reported that the council expects all secondary schools to eventually become Academies. In October 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that the City of London Academy had joined the Tate Modern as winner of the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Warwick Park The Academy at Peckham Specialism and Age Range Business and Performing Arts 11-19 It will have a Sixth Form from September 2004 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Lord Harris of Peckham has pledged support of up to £2m
Announced May 2001. Open 2003.
NUT concerns/additional information
Warwick Park successfully emerged from special measures in 2001. The school will be completely refurbished and expanded to accommodate 210 pupils on entry and a sixth form. The Academy will be the first in the UK to focus on business and the performing arts. The Academy plans to become a centre of excellence in teaching dyslexic children. Lord Harris has said that the Academy would have “state-of-the-art facilities across the curriculum, which would be available to other local schools. Lord Harris is chairman of Carpetright plc and Harris Ventures Ltd. He has sat on the board of various hospital trusts and was made a peer in 1995. Along with the City of London Academy, Southwark, the Academy at Peckham has taken 46 per cent of Year 7 SEN statemented pupils placed into mainstream schools in Southwark. OFSTED’s report on the Peckham Academy in February 2006 gave standards as being exceptionally low and singled out significant weaknesses in the sixth form provision. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Archbishop Michael Ramsey Technical College Specialism and Age Range Technology 11-18 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Toc H and Bryanston Square Ltd.
In development. Announced February 2004. Due to open September 2008
NUT concerns/additional information The Toc H is an international Charity founded during the First World War. It is also sponsoring Bradford Cathedral Academy.
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Geoffrey Chaucer Technology College and Joseph Lancaster Primary School
Specialism and Age Range Performing arts 3-18
Progress of Proposal
Absolute Return for Kids In development. Announced January (ARK) charitable trust 2005. Likely to open 2008 concerned with providing transformational change for disadvantaged children
NUT concerns/additional information Absolute Return for Kids (Ark) has announced plans to set up seven Academies in London. Ark is looking at setting up Academies in Hammersmith, Westminster, Lambeth, Hackney and Southwark but is also looking elsewhere in the UK. The charity is chaired by multi-millionaire City trader Arpad “Arki” Busson. The charity has appointed Jay Altman as director of education. Mr Altman was the founding principal of the New Orleans charter middle schools in Louisiana. The source of some of Ark’s funds is thought to be the City hedge fund business in which some of its donors work. As well as Busson who is expected to sponsor one of the Academies personally, other Ark trustees include multi-millionaire Paul Marshall, one half of the fund managers Marshall Wace. Marshall Wace is sponsoring the Academy in Southwark. Managing director Lucy Heller is overseeing Ark’s education programme and is keen that Ark Academies specialise in maths. Heller’s partner is Professor Adrian Smith, author of a report slamming the state of maths teaching. One proposal being considered by Ark is to develop a maths curriculum and sell it to others. The 1,622-pupil Academy planned to replace Geoffrey Chaucer Technology College and Joseph Lancaster primary in 2008 will effectively be six schools in one. It will comprise a nursery and infant school, a junior school, two parallel 11-14 schools and two 1419 schools each with their own heads and deputies answering to an overarching principal and specialising in music and the performing arts. Ark has withdrawn from proposals to sponsor an Academy in Islington after a strong campaign by the NUT, parents and teachers.
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Bacon’s CTC
Specialism and Age Range Digital media and technology 11-18
Progress of Proposal
Southward Docesan Board of Education and the Philip and Pauline Harris Charitable Trust
Announced May 2006. Due to open September 2008.
NUT concerns/additional information The proposal is for the conversion of Bacon’s City Technology College to an 11-18 Academy based on its current site. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Harris Girls’ Academy Waverley School NUT concerns/additional information In December 2005 Ofsted described Waverley School as ‘effective with outstanding features’. (TES, 04/08/06) Specialism and Age Range Sports and PE and Health 11-18 Girls Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Lord Harris of Peckham, carpet magnate.
Open September 2006.
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) New school JCB Academy
Specialism and Age Range Engineering, manufacturing and international business 14-19
Progress of Proposal
Announced May 2006 Due to open in September 2009
NUT concerns/additional information The Academy would be located in East Staffordshire with the majority of students enrolled via nodal points. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Avondale High School Specialism and Age Range Sport with business and enterprise 11-16 with a 250 place sixth form NUT concerns/additional information The DfES website states that the Academy will be sponsored by the United Learning Trust and in close partnership with Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council. The Academy will cater for 900 pupils aged 11-16 with a 250 place sixth form. Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
United Learning Trust
Announced October 2005
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Castleview Academy
Specialism and Age Range
Progress of Proposal
NUT concerns/additional information .
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Headlands School Pinehurst infants and Junior School Pinehurst Academy
Specialism and Age Range Science and business and enterprise Likely to be 0-19 Academy
Progress of Proposal
Swindon Borough Council, the United Learning Trust and Honda
Announced May 2006 Due to open in September 2007
NUT concerns/additional information The DfES website states that the Academy project has been awarded funding to determine the practicalities of establishing the Academy, and as part of this consideration will explore the case for a 0-19 all through Academy. In January 2007 it was announced that the Academy proposals had been approved following a meeting of the borough council's
schools organising committee. The Academy, run by the United Learning Trust and Honda Cars, will absorb both the existing Headlands School and Pinehurst Infants and Junior School and is due to open in September, the Swindon Advertiser reports. Headlands will be given a £35 million grant to develop its new buildings and facilities, which headteacher Jan Shadick told the paper would be "fantastic", but this view contrasted with that of local councillor Andy Harrison, who said that the area was given an all or nothing choice of an Academy or no change. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Gateway Community College Gateway Academy NUT concerns/additional information Gateway Community College had been described as an improving school, with ‘ambitious vision’. (TES, 04/08/06) The Gateway Academy, Thurrock, opens in September 2006 prior to the completion of a new £36m building, which will provide exceptional facilities for students and the community. The Gateway Academy will replace a school that has seen notable improvements in students’ attitudes to learning in recent years and serves a community that is showing increasing commitment to supporting the school. Specialism and Age Range The Arts, design and engineering 11-18 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
The Ormiston Trust
Open September 2006
The school will continue to operate on two sites until the new purpose built accommodation is opened in March 2008. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) TP Riley The Walsall Academy Specialism and Age Range Technology 11-18 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Thomas Telford Online (an offshoot of the Thomas Telford CTC) the Mercers Company and Tarmac plc have pledged support of £2.5 million
Announced March 2001. Open September 2003.
NUT concerns/additional information T P Riley School has a history of falling rolls. It is to be replaced by a new school building. In the outline proposal for the provision of a Academy, published in September 2001, Sir Kevin Satchwell, head of Thomas Telford CTC, states, “ it is critically important that the School establishes the right ethos from its inception and this could not be achieved by simply admitting all the existing T P Riley pupils.” Thomas Telford CTC has a selective admissions procedure. Prospective applicants sit a non-verbal reasoning test. The results from the test are divided into nine bands of ability, with the school taking a number from each band. The philosophy and style of education established at the Walsall Academy will replicate that found at Thomas Telford School where lessons are three hours long. Staff from TP Riley have been invited to visit Thomas Telford school during the 2002 Summer and Autumn terms so as to see the style of teaching first hand.
The presentation materials for Walsall Academy state that the Academy will follow the National Curriculum but with extra Science, Technology and Mathematics it also plans to offer a range of post 16 vocational and academic courses. The Academy will also involve parents and industry in the school. The Academy will operate a longer school day, which will run from 8.15 – 5.15 Monday – Thursday, and 8.15 – 3.15 on Friday. It will also have a longer year with 190 student days and 10 professional development days. The contractual conditions state that there will be no parent’s evenings and that all meetings will be included in the working day. The conditions also state that all planning, preparation, marking and curriculum development will take place during the day. Teachers will have 80 per cent teaching contact (four days a week) and one day for planning, preparation and marking. Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council is supportive of the proposals. The Division has stated that it has a number of concerns regarding the Walsall Academy Teachers Contract of Service on Transfer. Some of the conditions of service previously discussed with the Academy do not appear in the contract including guaranteed time for planning, preparation and assessment time. Teaching staff will not be included on the governing board but will have a governor to represent their interests. Teachers will have to have their application cleared through the Head if they wish to have an interview with the Chairman or Deputy Chairman of the Governors.
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) McEntee School Walthamstow Academy
Specialism and Age Range Business and Enterprise and science and maths 11-18
Progress of Proposal
United Learning Trust
Announced October 2004. Due to open in September 2007 Open September 2006
NUT concerns/additional information In September 2004 the Division reported that there was a proposal to establish an Academy to replace McEntee School in Waltham Forest Forest. The Academy was originally due to be sponsored by Jasper Conran. It will cater for 1150 pupils aged 11-18. The Academy will be a new build and is due to open in September 2007. The Division is campaigning strongly against developments and has produced campaign materials aimed at parents to warn them of the dangers of Academies. In October the NUT’s General Secretary attended a public meeting sponsored by Waltham Forest NUT and Waltham Forest UNISON. In December 2004 it was announced that after a vigorous campaign by teachers and parents against the proposed Academy, the sponsor, Jasper Conran, had withdrawn his funding. The United Learning Trust is the new sponsor. McEntree School was praised in April 2004 as ‘a good school’. (TES, 04/08/06)
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) ADT CTC
Specialism and Age Range 11-18 ICT and design technology
Progress of Proposal
Prospect Education (Technology) Trust
Announced October 2004 Due to open in September 2007
NUT concerns/additional information The Academy will provide 1050 places for 11-16 year olds, and a further 300 places for a sixth form.
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) Westminster (i) North Westminster Community College Westminster Academy NUT concerns/additional information
Specialism and Age Range International business and enterprise 11-18
Progress of Proposal
Westminster Academy Trust
Open September 2006
The Academy will be a new school in Westbourne Green. A new school is needed due to an increase in pupil numbers. The Academy will cater for pupils aged 11-18 moving from North Westminster Community College that will close in August 2006 and be replaced by two Academies (Westminster and Paddington). The Westminster and Paddington Academies are being created to replace North Westminster Community School from September 2006. Paddington Academy is sponsored by the United Learning Trust, and Westminster Academy by the Westminster Academy Trust. Westminster and Paddington Academies will open in September 2006 in temporary accommodation in Penfold St and North Wharf Rd sites before moving into the all-new schools for the following year. The £30M Paddington Academy will be based at Oakington Rd and the £30M Westminster Academy will be based at Westbourne Green. In February 2007 the Times Educational Supplement reported that the Academy would be making redundancies because it could not afford to pay staff salary costs. The principal, Alison Banks, said that she would be forced to make redundancies because pay was swallowing her £5m budget, leaving nothing for books, equipment or running costs. She told staff and governors that the school had been told that it must balance its budget from September. That means cutting staff pay and allowances by a fifth to save £1m a year. Mrs Banks said that compulsory redundancies and changes to the curriculum should be needed as staffing was slimmed down. Teachers said they were shocked by a suggestion that lessons in English as an additional language
might be dropped at the Academy where most of its pupils are from ethnic minorities. Westminster Academy is already under threat of strikes over the length of dinner breaks. Problems with the planning means pupils at both the Westminster and Paddington Academy are stuck in unsuitable premises while they wait for new buildings. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) North Westminster Community School Paddington Academy NUT concerns/additional information The second Academy is based on a proposal to reduce the size of North Westminster Community School as part of a review of secondary provision in the city. Whilst Westminster Community School is not in special measures the LEA feels that it is not improving fast enough (Ofsted 2005: the school was making ‘good progress’ but with ‘wide inconsistency’). The Head of the school has recently resigned due to reported difficulties coping with the size of the school. The Union has been having regular meetings with the United Learning Trust in relation to teachers’ contracts and the educational aspects of the Academies being sponsored by ULT (including the Manchester Academy which has been in operation since September 2003) with further meetings scheduled to continue into next year. The teachers’ organisations are continuing to press ULT on contractual issues, particularly on working time and non-contact time. The DfES Academies website states that the Academy will be established in a new building on the current Oakington Road site of the North Westminster Community School (NWCS). NWCS will close in August 2006 and be replaced by 2 new Academies (Paddington and Westminster). Specialism and Age Range Media and the performing arts with business and enterprise 11-18 Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
United Learning Trust
Announced on DfES website in February 2004 Due to open September 2006
In July 2005 the Evening Standard reported that Lord Andrew Adonis had intervened and ordered the appointment of 10 teachers for North Westminster Community School after an exodus of staff who did not want to work in an Academy. Ten out of 30 teachers at the school’s Oakington Road site had resigned and pupils faced having their education disrupted by a procession of temporary supply staff. The Evening Standard also reported that the construction project at the school was two months behind schedule. The Paddington Academy was due to open in September 2006 in a £25 million building, with the latest in computer and internet technology. However, construction delays mean that the new building will not be ready until summer 2007, one year behind schedule. The Academy opened instead in a rundown and dilapidated building, which was part of the North Westminster Community School it was intended to replace. Conditions were reported to be so bad that on the first day of term teachers were forced to clean the building themselves, the grounds were strewn with rubbish and some of the lavatories had been condemned. There were few of the modern computer installations that had been promised
Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Academy (where announced) The St George’s RC School
Specialism and Age Range Maths and computing 11-18 with some provision for 18-21
Progress of Proposal
Archdiocese of Westminster
Announced on DfES website in February 2005
NUT concerns/additional information In January 2006 a Westminster Council report stated that the Academy proposal had not been approved by the DfES and that the school was being encouraged to pursue improvements through the BSF route. LEA Name of School to be replaced/ Name of Specialism and Age Range Sponsor(s) Progress of Proposal
Academy (where announced) New school
ARK, (Absolute Return for Kids) children’s charity
Was due to open September 2006 but now is due to open Sept 2007
NUT concerns/additional information In August 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that ARK had delayed the 2006 opening of its Academy. It will now open in September 2007. Lucy Heller, ARK’s general manager for education, said that the opening had been delayed as there was not enough time to enrol students and the council no longer urgently needed the primary places. Westminster council said it had reviewed school admissions in May 2006 and decided that it would be ‘more beneficial’ to delay the academy’s opening by a year. (TES, 04/08/06). ARK was set up by “Arki” Busson, the French multi-millionaire financier. The charity says on its website that it intends to have 4,500 students enrolled in seven Academies by the end of 2008. Eventually they will hold at least 7,000 students. Potential Academies Information on Academies which have yet to be formerly announced (March 2007). Barnet In September 2006 the DfES Academies website stated that another Academy was planned in Barnet. No other information was given. Basildon In September 2005 it was reported that two Basildon schools could merge to become one “supersize” Academy catering for up to
3,000 children. The Essex Enquirer newspaper reported that the proposals would see Barstable School and Chalvedon School and Sixth Form College in Pitsea “federated”, with one overall governing body. Barnstable school has previously been on special measures and is now in the “serious weakness” category, but has been continually supported by Chalvedon. The newspaper reported that the headteacher of Chalvedon School, who would become principal of the new Academy, was supportive of the proposals. Birmingham Birmingham City Council is planning to set up seven Academies – the single biggest drive in the country. The seven schools Birmingham is proposing as Academies are St Alban’s in Highgate, The Heartlands High in Nechells; the College High in Erdington; Kings Norton High; Sheldon Heath, Shenley Court in Selly Oak and Harborne Hill in Edgbaston. The City Council has said that it will retain control over admissions and that each Academy will have several sponsors to prevent any one gaining too much control. It says that sponsors will “work equally” with six schools including the Academy, in an area network. It is proposed that there will be six area networks, one of which will have two Academies and the others one each. The council has said that there will be two City Council representatives on the Governing Body for each Academy and the terms and conditions of teachers will not change. Birmingham NUT have reported that there has been a lack of public knowledge or consultation over the proposals. Blackpool In August 2005 the Division reported that an Academy was proposed in Blackpool. Bolton In October 2005 the Times Educational Supplement reported that the Withins School in Bolton which came out of special measures nine months ago is expected to be closed and reopened as an Academy. It is to be sponsored by Toc H a charity originally set up during the First World War, to provide support for soldiers. Toc H is also sponsoring Bradford Cathedral Academy and is linked with a proposal to turn the Archbishop Michael Ramsey Technical College into an Academy. The Academy in Bolton will become an Academy catering for pupils from age 3-19. It will offer a nursery, a primary and an 11-19 secondary school. A secondary special school is also to be moved to the same site. Two local primaries will close to make way for the scheme. The Times Educational Supplement reported that Withins School was put into special measures in 2003, but
inspectors removed it from the category earlier this year, describing the new headteacher as demonstrating “determined leadership”. The teaching and learning at the school was said to be mainly satisfactory and sometimes good or very good. Bradford Lord Bhatia has been backed by Bradford to sponsor an Academy at Rhodesway School through the British Edutrust Foundation. He claims to have corporate sponsors pledged to contribute £50m to the academies programme. Brighton In October 2005 the division reported that an Academy was planned to replace Falmer High School in Brighton. The proposed sponsor is investment banker Jon Aisbitt, one of the richest men in the country. Mr Aisbitt has an estimated fortune of £95m. He was previously a partner of Goldman Sachs and is now a director of several financial companies (non-executive director of Man Group plc, Ocean Rig ASA and Redburn Partners Holding Ltd). He is currently a trustee of New Philanthropy Capital which advises charity donors on how to make donations more effectively. A local newspaper reported that Falmer had scored its best GCSE results in the past five years in 2005 with 32 per cent of pupils gaining five or more A*-C grades. The schools headteacher is understood to be supportive of the proposals. The Academy would include sixth-form provision. Brixton In August 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that Children’s charity, ARK, one of the Government’s biggest Academy sponsors, planed to open a new 11-18 academy in former primary school buildings in Brixton in late 2008, following a campaign by parents for new secondaries in Lambeth. The building for the ARK Academy in Brixton, due to be opened in 2008, has been designed by award-winning architect, Zaha Hadid. The DfES denied that money had been allocated to build the Academy to this design, or that final approval had been given. (Evening Standard, 19 December 2007) Calderdale In February 2006 the division reported that The Ridings School, Halifax might become an Academy after being judged “inadequate”
by OFSTED. The inspection took place in October 2004, three months after the resignation of headteacher Anna White. The Ridings School came to national attention in November 1996 as the result of an emergency Ofsted inspection. Its headteacher resigned and staff threatened to strike over 60 “unteachable” children. In October 1998, The Ridings became the fastest secondary school in the country to come out of Special Measures. Cumbria In May 2006 the division reported that there was a possibility of a 11-19 Academy being established in Copeland. It would involve the closure of Wyndham School in Egremont and Elhenside School, Cleator Moor. The Academy proposal follows a strategic review led by the county council into education across North Copeland. The council have said that the review was prompted by a fall in pupil numbers and that they are consulting on a range of options. Copeland MP Jamie Reed is reported to have already secured the support of a private sector sponsor; the British Nuclear Group. Jamie Reed is quoted in a local newspaper The Whitehaven News as saying “I have worked with 10 Downing Street and education minister Andrew Adonis in recent weeks on proposals for an Academy school in North Copeland”. Wyndham School came out of special measures in March 2006 Darlington Proposals in Darlington to replace Hurworth School, which has high rates of pupil achievement (80% 5 A-C grades), and Eastbourne School, which is less successful academically, with a new-build Academy are being vigorously challenged by parents and teachers. Hurworth School is in the Prime Minister’s constituency and has been visited and praised by him over the years. The proposals are connected to the authority’s Building Schools for the Future funding bid. The Durham diocese of the Church of England has agreed to act as chief sponsor. Doncaster In May 2004 the Division reported that an Academy was planed to replace Northcliffe State Secondary School. Northcliffe is in a rural area where there are no other schools available. Despite a great improvement in exam results Northcliffe school was unexpectedly put in special measures this year. The majority of staff are NUT members. The 1,250-pupil school would be the fourth “creationist academy” run by the Emmanuel
Schools Foundation, part of the Vardy Foundation Christian charity. The Foundation, headed by Sir Peter Vardy already sponsors an Academy in Middlesbrough and the Emmanuel City Technology College in Gateshead. A third is being build at Thorne near Doncaster, to open in September 2005. In June 2004 the BBC reported that parents and pupils had staged a protest over the plans for the school. Parents and teachers are concerned there will be no local representation over the running of the school. The project is currently under consultation and public meetings will be held in late June and throughout July 2004. The Academy in Northcliffe is scheduled to open in 2006. In October 2004 it was reported that the vigorous campaign led by parents and teachers against the Academy had been successful as the authority had withdrawn from the proposals. Hackney In July 2004 it was announced that proposals to turn St Thomas Abney School into an Academy had failed after a vigorous campaign by parents. The Guardian quoted one campaigner “The site was half the recommended area and the final plans were for a building cantilevered over the reservoir, with the play area on the roof. The estimated costs were over £40m for a site that was obviously unsuitable.” Proposals had been put forward for St Thomas Abney School to become an Academy school despite the school receiving a good OFSTED report. The Academy was due to open in new buildings in 2007. It would provide 360 places for pupils aged 5-11, 900 places for pupils aged 11-16 and 250 places in the sixth form. The DfES website stated that it will be sponsored by a financial city sponsor – no other details were given on sponsor. North London Collegiate School were also involved in developing proposals. The North London Collegiate School is also thought to be involved in the running of Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney. Hackney In May 2006 the Division reported that the local authority was consulting on proposals to close Skinners School for Girls and replace it with an Academy. The Academy would open in September 2010.
New school/Academy in Haringey Haringey division is campaigning against the involvement of external sponsors in the establishment of a new school in Wood Green. The Unit has providing information on the three sponsors – ULT, CfBT and Haberdashers’ Aske’s – to the division. Haringey Council’s own bid, which is supported by parents, governors and teachers, would be for a community school, rather than an Academy. A public meeting on the presentation of the bids took place on 16 January. The division reported that there was only a small audience so a second meeting has been requested. While the Council’s bid was well presented, those of the three external sponsors were not impressive; showed no awareness of problems their companies had had in other Academies/educational projects or the needs of a multi-cultural and deprived area. The Haberdashers’ proposal included plans for a 3-18 Academy, to the amazement of the headteacher and governors of the primary school concerned. Hertfordshire In January 2007 the BBC reported of plans to turn an independent Steiner school in Hertfordshire into an Academy. Steiner schools give priority to educating the “whole child” with a strong emphasis on creativity. The Academy bid would see a new school building constructed alongside the existing building. The sponsor for the new Academy is the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship. Hertfordshire County Council is objecting to the plans on a “highways” issue. The Academy could open as early as September 2007. The proposed Steiner Academy would take in 330 children from the age of five until 16. It will in order to receive state funding, have to comply with the national curriculum requirements to have tests in English, maths and science at 11 and 14. Children will also do GCSEs and A levels. However, the Academy will not have to follow the year-on-year-out requirements of the national curriculum and will stick to its own teaching methods. A feasibility study for the DfES is reported as being near to completion on the conversion of the Hereford Waldorf School (fees approximately £4,500 per annum) to a state-funded Academy. The distinctive nature of the Steiner system would be preserved although pupils will participate in national testing. The proposals have attracted protests locally where rural schools are facing closure because of lack of funds and pupils.
Hull In April 2005 the division reported that Pickering School was to become an Academy. The Church of England has expressed an interest in establishing an Academy in Hull. Islington Islington Green Academy was originally due to be sponsored by the charity Absolute Return for Kids (Ark), chaired by multimillionaire City trader Arpad “Arki” Busson. Ark withdrew from the Academy proposals in June 2005 after successful campaign by Islington parents, teachers and school support staff. Ark claimed that the developments had become too complicated. The Division has reported that the Corporation of London is in talks with Islington Council and the DfES about the sponsoring of the Islington Green Academy. In March 2006 the Guardian reported that City University had agreed to jointly sponsor an academy to replace Islington Green school in conjunction with the Corporation of London, following the withdrawal of the original sponsor, Ark. In May 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that Islington Council had announced that the City of London authority and City University would jointly contribute £2m sponsorship to turn Islington Green School into an Academy for 11-18 year olds. Islington Council have voted to progress the Academy programme for the replacement of Islington Green School regardless of the fact that there is no Funding Agreement and widespread opposition. The Regional Secretary points out that the Labour Party opposes locally and supports nationally, while the Liberal Democrats oppose nationally and support locally! In October 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that 95 per cent of staff at Islington Green School opposed its plans to become an Academy. The school has become over-subscribed after coming out of special measures with the current head teacher, who is leaving the school. The NUT representative, Ken Muller, has organised a staff ballot which overwhelmingly rejected the change to Academy status.
A closure notice on the school was published on 9 November 2006. A demonstration took place on 18 January at the meeting of the Schools Organising Committee, which upheld the decision to close the school. The school’s GCSE results for 30 per cent 5 A-C including English and maths are better than all bar one academy; 5 A-G better than all academies; CVA score is better than most academies. The Times Educational Supplement of 8 December 2006 reported that the Edison Company, which runs charter schools in the US is working with the City of London and London University, co-sponsors of the potential Academy, to develop an “educational vision” that includes the curriculum and buildings. Chris Whittle, Edison CEO, envisages a role as a contractor of services to Academies rather than a sponsor. On 26 January the Islington Tribune reported that secret donors were helping to pay £1m to fund the Academy. The article stated that City University, co-sponsors of the project, had admitted that it did not have the money to bankroll its contribution so had to undertake a 10-month fundraising drive. A City University spokeswoman said: “We have had several donations towards the City Academy, one from a benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous, other donations have come from the Sir John Cass’s Foundation and the Worshipful Company of Saddlers.” Kent In May 2005 the Times Educational Supplement reported that parents on the Isle of Sheppey, off the north Kent coast, had reported that a Church of England Academy was being imposed on them with inadequate consultation. It would be the only secondary school on the island. The claim is denied by Kent council, which says it will consult parents if the Government gives the go-ahead. Under the council’s plans, the island’s primary middle and upper schools would be replaced by primaries and a secondary. Minister College, Sheppey’s secondary, which has been in special measures since 2003, and three successful middle schools would be closed. In June 2004 the Government received a proposal to replace the schools with an Academy sponsored by the Canterbury diocese. The proposal had not been published but was leaked to the local press and parents. In August 2006 it was reported that a local parent had withdrawn her application for a judicial review of the decision to open an Academy on the Island.
Lambeth In July 2005 the division reported that Lambeth Council had dropped the plan to open an Academy at Glenbrook after a successful campaign led by the NUT and supported by parents, governors, school students, local residents, residents in sheltered accommodation and the Labour group. In April 2005 the Division reported that an 11-18 Academy was planned for Lambeth sponsored by the charitable Trust ARK Education. The Academy’s proposed is September 2007 or September 2008 to be confirmed in the feasibility stage. It will specialise in maths and sport. In November 2004 the Division reported that Glenbrook Primary School had been chosen as a possible site for a 5-19 Academy. The proposals would mean a loss of 80 per cent of the school’s play space. There is the possibility of a playground on the roof due to lack of space. Playing fields would be off site and would mean crossing two main roads every time children needed a PE lesson. Members and parents are very upset about the disruption to children. The school has begun campaigning against the proposals. Parents and children have taken part in meetings and have been speaking out to the press. Union members are due to hold a joint meeting to express their opinions on the council proposals. The council has said that they will listen to local opinion and will withdraw the plans early next year if they prove unpopular. Leeds The Division has reported that a second Academy is proposed for Leeds. It is to be sponsored by the Aire Christian Academic Development. The LEA was originally reported to be opposed to the proposals but was persuaded to look favourably on the idea through the offer of DfES funding. If the proposals go ahead the two schools on the proposed site will be closed. There is a campaign in one of the schools to keep it open. The authority is currently seeking legal advice regarding the proposals. Manchester In April 2005 the division reported that a number of additional Academies were planned in Manchester. Manchester City Council’s proposed Academies programme includes plans to open Plant Hill, a new Academy built on its existing site in the north west district. The north west district would receive two new Academies following the closure of the North Manchester High School for
Boys and the High School for Girls. One would be located on the existing North Manchester High School for Girls site or a new site at the junction of Rochdale Road/Queens Road. It is also proposed that the New East Manchester School, serving the North East District would be allocated Academy status. It is also proposed to explore with the Salford Diocese the possibility of an Academy on the site of St Thomas Aquinas or nearby to serve the south district. The proposals also include plans to create a federation of Wythenshaw High Schools. This would bring together the existing four high schools onto five sites and incorporate pupils from the local special schools and from the Key Stage 3 Pupil Referral Unit (PRU). Two of the current high schools could become Academies. In April 2006 the Guardian reported that Manchester College of Art and Technology was considering sponsoring an Academy to replace Parklands high school and possibly a second to replace North Manchester High School for Girls. The Academy on the Parklands site will open in September 2007. The College has put up less than £2m. Its principal, Peter Tavernor is quoted as saying “the Government is now accepting lower cash sums from sponsors”. In October 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that the United Learning Trust would take over one of the country’s leading private schools when it joins the state sector as an Academy. William Hulme’s grammar school will abolish annual fees of almost £8,000 in exchange for Government funding. In October 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that the BBC had put in a joint bid with the independent television company Granada to become sponsors of one of six new Academies planned for Manchester. They are among 17 potential sponsors for the Academies. Others include O2, Microsoft and British Telecom. Channel 4 is supporting an application by Manchester Metropolitan University and Manchester College of Arts and Technology. The BBC said that it had been invited to apply by the council and believed that sponsoring an Academy would be a good way to develop talent. The BBC has said that it will not be providing financial support but will be “exploring ways to use the skills and expertise of the BBC and its staff to inspire young people.” As a demonstration of the involvement of local authorities in the Academies programme, an article in the Guardian on 9 January 2007 on Manchester’s Academies was written by Lord Adonis and Richard Leese, leader of the City Council. The three new Academies are an integral part of the Building Schools for the Future Programme and are to be followed by three further Academies (in addition to the existing Manchester Academy and William Hulme Grammar School, a private school which will
become an Academy in September 2007). Sponsors include construction companies, health trusts, the Co-operative Group, possibly BT, the BBC and ITV Granada, Manchester universities. The article emphasises the co-ordinated nature of the city’s Academies, which will be co-sponsored by the Council, and with other local schools. It is intended that the Academies will pioneer the new specialised vocational diplomas for 14-19 year olds in their areas of specialism with local FE colleges. Newcastle In May 2003 it was reported that an Academy could be built in the West End of Newcastle as part of plans to regenerate the area. The Newcastle Journal reported that Sir Peter Vardy, chief executive of the motor retail group Reg Vardy plc, was in talks with Newcastle City Council to sponsor an Academy in Scotswood. The Vardy Foundation, run by Peter Vardy, already sponsors the Kings Academy in Middlesbrough and the Emmanuel City Technology College in Gateshead. Northumberland In April 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that Sir Peter Vardy, car dealer and founder of the Emmanuel Schools foundation was putting £2m towards a planned new Academy in Blyth, Northumberland. The DfES website states that further work will be carried out during feasibility to explore the option of including 4-11 places creating an all-age Academy. In October 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that more than 1,000 people had signed a petition against the Academy proposal. In January 2007 it was announced that the campaign, supported by the local NUT, against a proposed Academy in Blyth has been successful in persuading the district council to vote almost unanimously to reject the proposals. The sponsor of the proposed Academy was the Emmanuel Schools Foundation, headed by Sir Peter Vardy.
Norwich In April 2006 the Times Educational Supplement reported that Graham Dacre, millionaire founder of the Lind Automotive Group and a committed Christian was planning to support an Academy in partnership with the Anglican Church. The proposed Academy which will have a “Christian ethos” is to replace a non-religious comprehensive in Norwich, despite objections from the local MP, who has said that the plans were motivated by “indoctrination”. Mr Dacre is reportedly a member of a Norwich based evangelical Christian church, Proclaimers International, and has used his personal fortune to establish the Lind trust, an educational charity. Among projects backed by the trust so far is a £3m youth centre in the city, which Mr Dacre said that he had set up to “serve the needs of others as Christ did”. Norwich council has confirmed that a formal submission of interest had been lodged with the DfES to convert Heartsease High School into a 1,400 pupil Academy with Mr Dacre and the Anglican diocese of Norwich providing £2m sponsorship.
Oldham division is campaigning against proposals to include two Academies to replace Breeze Hill, Grange, Kaskenmoor, Counthill and South Chadderton Schools within its Building Schools for the Future proposals which has been approved by the DfES. A demonstration was held in January 2007. The proposals would lead to longer distances to school for children. The sponsors of Oldham’s new schools have not yet been announced but likely frontrunners are the United Learning Trust, the Church of England charity, and Lord Bhatia, a leading British Muslim and independent peer who wants to set up 20 Academies designed to bring children from Muslim backgrounds into mixed-school environments. Oxfordshire The division is campaigning against proposals to turn Peers School into an Academy.
Portsmouth In October 2002 the Division reported that the LEA was exploring the possibility of replacing a failing school with an Academy. Rochdale In March 2006 the Division reported that an Academy was proposed in Rochdale and was at the “expression of interest” stage.
In February 2006 the Union gave advice to Rochdale division on proposals to open an Academy as part of its Building Schools for the Future. programme
Salford In September 2006 it was announced that Salford City Council has approved plans to turn Hope High School into an Academy. Under the plans the school will move to a new building in Salford Quays and specialise in media and information technology. The Academy will be sponsored by the Oasis Trust. Sandwell In November 2004 the Division reported that Sandwell LEA were proposing three more Academies as part of their Building Schools for the Future bid. They are all proposed as replacements for exising schools: Dartmouth, Willinsworth and Shireland/George Salter. The latter will be a federated Academy. Sheffield Sheffield City Council notified Regional Office of their wish to establish an Academy in January 2001. In November 2000, a letter was sent to Sheffield’s nine inner city schools asking for expressions of interest. All of the schools are well led and have made considerable progress in tackling standards. The Council believes that there are key advantages to establishing a Academy and
have stated that it would raise the profile and levels of attainment in one of Sheffield’s most deprived communities. Regional Office has sought advice on pay and conditions issues and the profit arrangements for private sponsors. The proposals for an Academy are part of Sheffield’s Transforming Secondary Education programme. The programme, which was launched in June 2003, encourages every secondary school to apply for specialist status. Southwark In May 2004 the Times Educational Supplement reported that Dulwich College, the private school, plans to set up an Academy. It believes that the Academy could be open by September 2006. Under the plan, a financial sponsor, whose identity has not yet been disclosed, would invest £2m in the scheme. Dulwich College would not put any money towards the Academy. Graham Able, Head of Dulwich College, said that the school would be branded as a Dulwich Academy and the college would provide governors and offer advice on management and maintaining standards. He said: We won’t be putting any money in because any money that we have available would go to increasing the number of bursaries we offer here”. Dulwich is already establishing itself as an education force in Asia, with a school in Thailand and another being set up in Shanghai. It has plans for at least another two in China. Dulwich’s announcement came days before the publication of the draft Charities Bill, which was expected to put pressure on private schools to show their benefit to the public. Graham Able has denied the decision to sponsor an Academy was a cynical attempt to protect its charitable status. Stoke-on-Trent In August 2006 the Guardian reported that John Caudwell, the mobile-phone millionaire who has recently received £1.46bn from the sale of his Phones4U business, is to put some of the proceeds into the education system in his native city of Stoke-on-Trent. The entrepreneur has earmarked “a few million” for an Academy in the Potteries and would like the school to have a business specialism. Sunderland
In September 2005 the division reported that Sunderland planed to co- sponsor three Academies. It would choose the co-sponsors. In October 2005 the Times Educational Supplement (TES) reported that Sunderland council, had fallen out with Sir Peter Vardy, the evangelical Christian car dealer and the DfES, over its proposals to sponsor three new Academies. The TES said that council papers revealed that Sunderland had reluctantly agreed to apply for Academies this summer, after the DfES said that a £95m council bid for Government cash to rebuild its secondaries would be rejected without Academy proposals. The council has now put forward plans to jointly sponsor up to three new Academies, investing up to £1m in each, with sponsors matching this contribution. The Academies are also being asked to sign agreements on working with the local authority on admissions, special needs and joint sixth-form provision. The TES reported that the DfES appeared unhappy with this arrangement. Bruce Liddington, of the DfES Academies division said that the LEA’s involvement in the new scheme could lead to “inefficiency and ineffectiveness”. The council has discussed sponsorship with Sir Peter, but failed to reach agreement because the millionaire wants the new Academies to have sixth forms. Tameside In October 2005 the Division reported that the Authority had been in discussions with the DfES regarding proposals for an Academy. It is believed that the Authority was told that unless the proposals for Building Schools for the Future included proposals for an Academy there would be no funding. The Authority has now approached New Charter (the local Social Housing Company) who has agreed to put £2m to sponsor the Academy. New Charter has agreed to appoint the local authority as educational adviser and include the Academy as part of the “Tameside Campus” of secondary schools. The Academy would result in the closure of Hartshead and Stamford High Schools and would be built on a site opposite the existing Hartshead High School. In June 2006 the Division reported that one Academy was likely to be in Cashton udder Lyne, combining the two high schools in the town. A second Academy might be built in Droylsden – combining two single sex schools. The claim is that teachers’ pay and conditions (local and national) will not be changed and that the Academy will be part of the Tameside Campus of high schools and abide by the Authority’s admission policy. The response from staff at one of the high schools is to seek alternative posts, and many applicants have withdrawn when they were informed of the proposed Academy. The Governing body have written to all parents asking them to consider opposing the Academy. There are concerns about the consultation (especially no reference to post 16 education at the Academy and to the proposed specialisms – sport, health and construction).
Warwickshire Warwickshire LEA is consulting on proposals to close Bishop Wulstan Catholic School, Rugby, and replace it with an Academy to be sponsored by the Catholic church. The school has low pupil numbers and 12 per cent of pupils attaining 5 A-C GCSE grades.
The leader of Westminster Council has identified Pimlico School, which is in special measures as a possible Academy, leaving just one non-Academy secondary school in the authority.
Wolverhampton In November the Division reported that Wolverhampton LEA was exploring plans for an Academy as part of their review of secondary provision. The LEA has stated that the Academy would be a new school and would not involve the closure of any existing schools. It is proposed that the Academy would serve the 14-19 age group and would have a triple specialism, including maths/computing and engineering. It is envisaged that it would admit full time pupils at 14+, but also provide specialist facilities for pupils attending as part of the week from their home school, to access the Academy’s specialist facilities. It would also admit full time pupils post –16, drawn from the Academy’s own full time cohort, plus pupils from other City and out of City schools wishing to access its specialisms. It would also provide part time access to those specialisms to pupils enrolled in other sixth forms, within the framework of the Wolverhampton City wide Post-16 offer. The Academy would share facilities with the University of Wolverhampton’s Leadership Centre. The proposals are supported by a partnership of Wolverhampton LEA, the University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton Secondary Head Teachers/EiC Partnership and the City of Wolverhampton College. Outline proposals for the Academy have been sent to the DfES. At present, there are no sponsors for the Academy