There is many a paradox in the Academy world but perhaps the biggest one is around the Headteacher Board. A group of Headteachers, together with and headed by an RSC, making a decision on a school’s, or group of schools, ability to successfully run an academy? Then, once the group is approved they expect the […]

‘Go before we are pushed’, ‘control the journey and destination’ as well as ‘we are not having a Trust come in and tell us what to do, how to operate’. Sound familiar?! These are the main reasons schools are now converting to academy status. The building blocks to the recent budget announcement were started in […]

I’ve never been a fan of the phrase ‘Critical Friend’. In my opinion, what a nonsensical phrase. When I first became a governor over 23 years ago, a wise man told me a governor is three things – Watchdog, Mediator and Champion. He went on to say that if I wore all three hats with […]

It’s surprising how many Trusts do not undertake meaningful due diligence on a school joining the MAT. In the world of business, putting two companies together can take years. Yet, some Trusts think they can pay lip service to this vital element and then wonder why the Trust / school has issues down the line. […]

The first building block came in 2010 with the coalition changing how Academies looked. Under the previous government, these were failing schools where money was thrown at trying to solve the issue. The coalition, especially David Cameron, asked why Outstanding schools shouldn’t be allowed to make local decisions if they were doing something right. Fair […]

At the start of the Academies Act, schools applied to the DfE, were assessed and – nearly every time – approved for their Academy Order. Then, with the advent of Regional Schools Commissioners, schools applied to the DfE, the application was passed to a Headteacher Board overseen by an RSC and it is this group […]

Every school, or group of schools, at the start of conversion considerations wonder what skill sets are required. By and large, there are 4 that RSC’s like. There is a fifth that can’t be quantified, guaged or is tangible enough for it to be detailed on the application! Yet, the fifth skill set is quite […]

The biggest single delay to any conversion is usually the land transfer / lease and most of those delays relate to the LA legal team. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not simply knocking LA’s. They are under extreme pressure with austerity. They are having to save millions whilst maintaining services. However, the whole conversion process […]

As we all get better at being an academy and as we understand more about runiing a MAT, there is a very great need to ensure that MAT’s have the capacity, infrastructure and the right people before taking any more schools into the Trust. Soon, Growth Audits will become a requirement if a MAT wants […]