Academy Conversion FAQ
What is an academy?
An academy is a publicly funded school that is independent of the Local Authority.
Who runs an academy?
The academy is run by an ‘Academy Trust’ who oversees a governing body. The Academy Trust is a legal body which operates a charitable organisation and a company limited by guarantee. The Trust has a formal agreement with the Department of Education to provide educational services to its students. We are joining Wickersley Partnership Trust which became a Multi-Academy Trust in 2013 and already consists of two secondary schools, Wickersley School and Sports College and Rawmarsh Community School. The Trust also works alongside Clifton Community School. The Trust wants to work in close partnership with primary schools and this year is establishing a primary branch consisting of Brinsworth Whitehill Primary, Aston Hall Primary and Aston Lodge Primary, Rawmarsh Ashwood Primary School and Thrybergh Primary School. Everyone involved in Wickersley Partnership Trust believes that education is a process that starts at birth and goes beyond schooling and our principle role is to assist parents to enable their children to become lifelong learners.
How is an academy funded?
Academies are funded directly by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) which is part of the Department for Education (DfE). This means that academies receive 100% of their grant (rather than a proportion of these funds being diverted to the local authority) and are free to choose how to spend it, as long as it improves the education of its students. Whist school will receive a small amount of extra money, it will also have to pay for all the services it previously received from the local authority. An academy is governed by the rules and regulations for charitable trusts, e.g. we will be required to produce and file accounts and trustees cannot be paid. There will be robust systems with an audit conducted by an external independent auditor.
How will becoming an academy affect:
- the catchment area
- the admissions criteria
- school terms dates and length of the school day
- the inclusion policy
- school name
No changes to any of the above are under consideration.
Will there be additional costs for parents?
Academies are not allowed to charge fees for pupils to attend the school.
Will the curriculum change?
Academies do not have to follow the national curriculum as long as the curriculum remains ‘broad and balanced’. This will provide us with greater flexibility to determine what best suits our children. Our creative curriculum is constantly evolving to keep it fresh and engaging for the children and teachers, but the core skills we teach remain constant, alongside the national curriculum.
Will the current Ofsted report be used?
On conversion to academy the school effectively start again in terms of Ofsted reporting.
Can we revert back to being a local authority maintained school?
The Department for Education website contains a wide range of information about becoming an academy. In particular the website has a FAQ section which can be found at:
What’s happened so far?
The Governing Body applied to convert to an academy and join Wickersley Partnership Trust on the 2nd March 2016.
The Governing Body received the Academy Order which agreed in principle for the conversion to take place.
A Due Diligence was processed.
We became part of the Wickersley Partnership Trust on the 1st August 2016.
The Wickersley Partnership Trust (WPT) is comprised of the following schools: