Sharing resources is the way forward for Darell, and indeed for all primary schools. But there are lots of options. All schools face these issues. Not all schools resort to becoming part of a “Multi-Academy Trust”.
Many primary schools have preferred to form federations with nearby primaries. This is where schools form a single governing body rather than giving away control. Here is the official government advice on federations:
(The National Governors Association believes that schools should consider federation before applying to academies, to save massive legal costs and fees to “consultants” and to keep control of their own governance. You can read more about that here.)
These options need to be considered alongside a transfer to one particular “multi-academy trust” if we want to be sure we are taking the best steps for Darell.
How cost-effective would it be to share resources with an organisation which runs two far-off secondary schools? What would we share with sixth-formers in Surbiton!?
The “Every Child Every Day Academy Trust” intends, over time, to take over more primary schools. Do we want Darell to be the “experiment” school where this organisation learns about how primary schools work? And, if it does assimilate more primaries, do we want our best staff re-assigned to those schools to “improve” them?
Academisation is always a disruptive and time-consuming process. Already this week, volunteer training was cancelled.
Love Darell believes that the Darell community should not be scared into making a hasty decision. The issue of academisation can get political, but that is a conversation for another place (and possibly a waste of time!) Our concern is that the process for entering into the discussion for Darell to join a “Multi-Academy Trust” and the process of consultation were rushed and are flawed. We love Darell and its staff and we are keen to avoid the disruption and additional workload which would be inevitable in such a huge and irrevocable change as academisation.
Funding is determined by pupil numbers. (Perhaps Darell’s expansion to two-form entry was a mistake?) One way to increase pupil numbers is to engage and communicate well with existing happy children and parents. Word-of-mouth recommendations are very powerful in Kew, Mortlake and Richmond!
Also, numbers can go down as well as up. Some parents will not keep their children at Darell if it does become join an academy trust.
- Why did the consultation group fall apart?
- Who is the governing body trying to transfer Darell to?
- Do Darell’s recent results make the case for a takeover by “Every Child Every Day”?
- What do the teachers and support staff think?
- How would Darell change?
- What are the alternatives?
- Would Darell be a local school?
- Would Darell become a private school?
- Does academisation improve pupil progress and attainment?
- How real is the “consultation”?
- What can I do?
CONTACT OTHER CONCERNED MEMBERS OF THE DARELL FAMILY: firstname.lastname@example.org
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