Lewisham schools seek academy status

The Guardian has published a useful list of all the schools around the country which are currently seeking to become academies. Specifically, these are schools which have registered an official interest with the Department for Education.

In Lewisham, the following schools appear on the list:

Brindishe Primary School, Lee
Fairlawn Primary School, Forest Hill
Grinling Gibbons Primary School, Deptford
Tidemill Primary School, Deptford

All four schools are classed as 'outstanding' by OFSTED, meaning that their applications would be fast-tracked under the education reform proposals currently being put forward by the government.

Academy schools are directly funded by the Department for Education and are independent of local government control. They may also receive support from individual and/or corporate sponsors.

For more information, see Wikipedia.


Anonymous said...

The only thing about an OFSTED Inspection is that each particular school know when they are coming, so everything thing is put in order.

Anonymous said...

Indeed. We all remember from school when the best work would be put up, areas would be cleaned, pupils instructed on how to act... all a bit pointless really.

Anonymous said...

Forest Hill School has also registered an interest.
However, this list only shows which schools have applied for more information about becoming academies - quite different to them 'currently seeking to become academies'. The DfE refused to give out any details about the process unless schools registered an official interest - thus bumping up the applications so they could prove their point that all schools want this.
I think credit is due to Lewisham Education that only 5 schools out of almost 100 have expressed interest.
And OFSTED only give 3 or 4 days notice I think, which isn't really enough time to make massive changes.

Anonymous said...

I know one school who used to give the troublemakers the day off if anyone of any importance was coming round.Not in Lewisham though.

Anonymous said...

not following why only "5 out of almost 100 schools" seeking academy status is apparently good, Anon? what am I missing here? thanks

Nick, fyi, Toad Cafe or whatever it's called - I avoid it owing to the same person taking money and preparing food which I have a bee in my bonnet about - has a few ads from people doing various courses. THought it might be worth your or Nicola's while to have a quick look and see if any appeal for your new venture.

Transpontine said...

I have spoken to heads in other parts of London who have registered an interest in order to find out what's going on but have no intention of going for Academy status. Guess it all depends what's on offer - with the secondary school academy programmme schools received more funding than they would do otherwise. The government might be able to bribe some schools to sign up on a similar basis, but can they really afford it?

Mondee said...

Also seems unfair that outstanding schools get fast tracked given that Ofsted is a failing organisation whose ratings count for nothing. But I suppose they have to prioritise somehow.

Anon 19 July 2010 15:57 said...

@ Anonymous 19 July 2010 18:18
The education dept of the council provides services to schools (payroll, legal, education consultants, management advice etc) the council pays for these by withholding a percentage of the money given to schools. When a school becomes an academy they receive their full share but pass up on any assistance from the council (or 'interference' as Gove would have it). The fact that so few schools in Lewisham have expressed an interest in becoming academies means, I think, that the council is providing a service that schools value. Therefore, good... (esp. if you work for the council and are bricking it about the massive job cuts that keep being talked about)

wondering about schools said...

ahha! thank you, Anon

Anonymous said...

Check out www.antiacademies.org.uk for more information...

Anonymous said...

I also think it is unfair if as with Tidemill the Ofsted was a couple of years ago. Myatt have just lost their outstanding rating ( now good with outstanding features) after a very recent inspection but i supect the standard of Myatt is much the same as these other primaries so why should they get fasttracked and get extra resources.

saying no academies said...

Tidemill Primary School

The consultation process of becoming an academy. I shudder and wonder what has happened to democracy?

* The governors have registered an online interest in Tidemill Primary School becoming an academy.

* On the 7th July, the school provided a questionnaire to ask via a tickbox if we required information about academy status.

* A cut and paste letter complete with FAQs, selectively edited segments from the government website, was handed to children on the 19th July for their parents. The school stated that the governors have begun a period of consultation to gather views of parents and staff to span the next two months (i.e. during summer holidays).

* On the 8th September at 8am to 9am (1 hour only) a meeting is arranged for parents to share their views, after which the governors go into a meeting to finalise their decision about academy status.

* In the July newsletter Mark Elms states that they are planning to canvas 5 parents from each class ("randomly selected") to run through questions on how they "feel about the Academy issue".

* Parents with questions are invited to email businessmanager@tidemill.lewisham.sch.uk during the holiday break.

* A general meeting is organised for Monday 6th September 7pm, at The Albany, Deptford.

* A website is being produced at http://academies.sayingno.org in support of

saying no academies said...

forgot to add that after the parent meeting of one hour, the governors go straight into their final meeting to make the decision.

Brockley Nick said...

Are you a parent of a child at the school?

And with regards to the site you linked to, what does this mean?

"staff in academies can be prey to discriminatory employment practices"

Discrimination in the workplace is illegal.

And this?

"The sponsor gains almost absolute power once a school acquires academy status. They take control of public assets - the buildings and the land."

What does that mean in practice? Is it just another way of saying that they have an input in to the way that the school is run?

And why does the page with the case against academies not include any supporting evidence for its claims?

Talk about lack of transparency...

saying no accademies said...


I am a parent of children at the school and have lived in Deptford for 20 years and i am embedded in the community i care about.

Of course we should explore new ideas, but let us support them with our eyes fully open.

Proper consultation should be part of the process.

Do you care about our democratic future?

Brockley Nick said...

I don't think democracy is the main issue. Do they result in better schools? That's all I care about. The evidence is mixed.

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