Please Support our Schools - Say NO to Leicester Academies
The drive for academies in Leicester is being led by a private consultancy called PLACE group.
PLACE have advised on Academies in Manchester, Bolton, Kent, Essex and Watford. They also advise an Academy sponsor called Oasis. Sadly, their advice to Oasis, who run nine academies including one in Southampton, does not seem to have been of any great value. The TES reported that a 'riot' took place in the week before half term at the Southampton Academy. Local MP and Higher Education minister, John Denham, told the Southampton Echo:
"This is only the second year it (Oasis) is responsible for any schools anywhere in the country. They may need to look at how they can get in some more expertise to strengthen, not the headteacher, who I know well and was a successful headteacher elsewhere in the city, but the governance of the school."
And thus a government minister ends up criticising the capacity of untried sponsors to run schools.
Anyone who has any doubts about the intentions of academies should look at the newly opened RSA Academy in Tipton. The following is taken from their Prospectus: The day is divided into two main learning sessions and students will also meet with their Tutor each day.
8.15 am Academy day begins
8.20 am Staff briefings
8.30 am Session 1
(including 15 min breakfast with staff)
11.50 Tutor group/House assembly
12.10pm Session 2
(including 30 minute lunch at 12.45,1.10, or 1.35)
3.50 pm End of Academy teaching
4.00 pm Private study
Facility available for students until 6.30pm
6.00 pm Adult/community learning
10.00pm Academy closes.
It should be obvious from this that 1265 hours has gone out of the window big time. The teacher day is 7 hours 30 minutes. Multiplied by 190 that comes to 1425 hours without any training days, marking, parents evening or other directed time.
Perhaps this goes some way to explaining why NUT and NASUWT teachers at Sinfin School in Derbyshire have been taking strike action in opposition to plans to change their school into an academy.
Don't forget the public meeting on 19th November.