St James the Great R.C. (VA) Primary and Nursery School Learning with God’s Love Academy Status Parental Consultation Purpose of meeting • To confirm our school’s vision and values • To advise parents of the Governors’ discussions regarding Academy status • To clarify what an Academy is • To discuss the advantages and risks of a transfer • To seek your views as part of the wider consultation process Our Vision and Values We are committed to; • Catholic education • Maximising student progress • Inspirational teaching and learning • Innovative ways of working • Developing and supporting pupils and parents • Making a positive contribution to community improvement and inter-school links Our History • In 1994 St James the Great School became one of the first primary schools in Croydon to convert to Grant Maintained status. • This move was supported by the vast majority of parents and agreed with the Diocese and LA • In 1999 GM status was abolished and the School returned to Voluntary Aided status. • Our time under GM status is recognised as a successful period in the School’s history What is an academy? • Academies are state-funded schools that are not accountable to the Local Authority • Academies have greater autonomy in terms of curriculum and finance • It is not part of the original first phase of academies which were sponsored by third-party business Why Consider Academy Status? We as a school have a responsibility to; - Ensure the delivery of the best education - Ensure we maintain services for pupils and staff alike - Serve the wider Catholic community - Consider options which allow us to achieve the above objectives Why now? • The political landscape • Greater freedom to teach what we think is important • Finances • The School’s current position in terms of finances and ability to make the change St James the Great R.C. (VA) Primary and Nursery School School Budget Difference Learning with God’s Love Where does the money come from? • Local Authority Central Spend Equivalent Grant (LACSEG) • The majority of services that Croydon provide and that we make a contribution to fund are not used by the school. • Those services that are required will still be purchased – no change to provision • We are in a good position to make the change What does this mean for the school? • Surplus money from Grant will fund school priorities and maintain provision. • Continue to be subject to Ofsted inspections • Continue to be accountable to the Diocese • Catholic ethos will remain – school will continue to look & feel the same What does this mean for the school? • Land and property would continue to be owned by Diocese • Governors appointed in similar way i.e. majority by Archbishop • Staff pay, terms and conditions remain the same • Continue to work with other schools and wider community It does not mean… • Changing our name or uniform • Sponsorship from a third party or joining a federation of academies • Changing our admissions policy • Sweeping changes to the curriculum • Compulsory pairing with weaker schools • Changing SEN support Concerns • • • • Have the costs been considered? Staff pay and conditions What happens if future funding is cut? What happens if future governments change policy? • What happens to other schools ‘left behind’? If we become an Academy… • Improved finances to meet school’s needs • Maintain and improve buildings and resources • Retention and recruitment of best teachers • Targeted support and reasonably sized teaching groups • Improved results Summary • There are clear advantages – Finance – Greater self governance – Maintain name, ethos, culture within school • There are risks – Greater responsibility and liability – Keeping staff/parents/pupils happy through change • But what is the risk of doing nothing?