Hazel Grove High School News

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HGHS V Hazel Grove Academy

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OliverJohnstone
Hazel Grove Councillor

OliverJohnstone
Re: HGHS V Hazel Grove Academy
20th May 2011 at 12:01PM
Hold on just one moment before we get carried away with ourselves.

This is not privatisation by the back door. I challenge you to provide a substantive argument that it is. The schools apply to become an academy on a voluntary basis and only when certain conditions are met.

What has big business got to do with this? The Conservatives are not for big business at all, we just aren't against business. This has nothing whatsoever to do with private capital interests.

The school will remain in the state sector just removed from the local authority control.

It is not logical to compare the new system of Academies to the experience we have had over the past decade and a half. The new system is formulated on a completely different basis.

I don't think it is an ideological move at all. For me, if believing passionately that parents and teachers are better suited to deciding what is best for our children's educational needs is ideological, then yes I support the move on an ideological basis.

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School Worker
Drifter
Re: HGHS V Hazel Grove Academy
20th May 2011 at 12:15PM
Not all schools use all LEA services so there maybe a saving there, the LEAs are certainly not always the cheapest.

As for not needing to be outstanding, if they are being taken under the wing by Stockport Academy, then the governors need to be sacked as that is a complete disaster at the moment. Maybe another Academy is about?

There are pros and cons to everything, I don't believe that a school should be an academy if it is being taken under the wing by someone else or even have a business input. This is privatisation in my opinion. However, not all academies do this.

The extra money you talk of not being promised every year, well this money is only that taken by the LEA. Different LEAs take different amounts, different schools use different services, only people at HGHS will know these amounts and can predict what they will get extra if anything. Maybe they want to be free was certain restraints a council puts on people.

I've worked for a school in Stockport before, and I actually believe the LEA provide a good service there and good value for money. Though some places want freedom.

As for the consultation period, I do agree that this should have been done properly, we clearly have a parent here who wasn't properly consulted and is now concerned, this isnt right.

On a side note, I have heard on the grapevine (from a teacher in training) that Cheadle Hulme High School (formerly Woods Lane) are also trying to become an Academy. Usually I would ignore such rumours but people at academies near my palce of work have met with people/ governors at this school regarding the process.
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School Worker
Drifter
Re: HGHS V Hazel Grove Academy
20th May 2011 at 12:17PM
To add to my post, I do agree with Oliver here a little bit and I'm no conservative.

New and old academies are different and new ones will more then likely not have a business influence, unless it is through another school taking control.
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Michael Davenport
Drifter
Re: HGHS V Hazel Grove Academy
20th May 2011 at 12:29PM
The following statement shows what the National Union of Teachers think about academies.

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers said; "The Academies and Free Schools programme is an ideologically driven attack on state comprehensive education which has nothing to do with the raising of standards in schools. The Government is now encouraging all schools, including special schools and PRUs, to apply for academy status. This measure is designed to undermine democratically elected local authorities. It will have a catastrophic effect on the equity of access to education and coherent planning of school places...

"Cutting out the local authority will leave schools which opt to become academies without the vital support that is needed to ensure they can offer the necessary support and advice for pupils as and when it is needed.

"The NUT is very concerned about the undermining of teachersí pay and conditions through the Free Schools and academies programme. Lord Hill has written to schools threatening to reject their applications for academy status unless they abandon national pay and conditions. This makes clear the Governmentís real agenda, which is to drive down teachersí pay and erode their conditions. Likewise, allowing free schools to employ teachers without qualified teacher status will damage education and undermine standards across the whole profession.

"Michael Gove has already said that he has no objection in principle to schools making a profit. The Government cannot justify the transfer of publicly funded assets in the form of school buildings and land into the hands of unaccountable sponsors or academy trusts. It is already becoming clear that the majority of Free Schools will be run by established academy chain sponsors or private companies.

"Let us be clear, this is not about standards, it is about the privatisation of our education system and it will lead to stark divisions in the education provision afforded to pupils and parents across the country.

"We need to send a clear and unequivocal message to Government that our education system is not for sale."

If you would to read a FAQ provided by the NUT please read the document here http://www.teachers.org.uk/files/Academies-FAQs-parents-2011_0.doc
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M J
Drifter
Re: HGHS V Hazel Grove Academy
22nd May 2011 at 4:21PM
When people say Stockport Academy has been a 'huge failure'. In what way?

Yes, OFSTED have asked it to improve and will closely monitor it's progress. But in comparison to Avondale, it is a huge improvement.

Their GCSE 'passes (A* to C), in 5 subjects including English and maths, moved to 51% this year. Almost double the year before. A double improvement must mean something is going well for them!!

However, there must be a clear difference between new and old academies. The government aims for almost all schools to move to this model within the next 5 years...
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Angela Bowen
Drifter
Re: HGHS V Hazel Grove Academy
23rd May 2011 at 8:11AM
Just wanted to give some facts regarding Academy Status for discussion. Dont forget the meeting tonight at Civic Hall 7pm.

* Acadamies cost 78k to set up but the government only give 25k towards this. Thats a massive 53k taken from school budget.
*small increase in funds but only for 1 year and this is the less than 3% top sliced from the Council to provide services to the school including SEN and Building Maintenance. All it takes is for your bolier to brake and you cannot buy into the Council insurance as the law has changed. This means you pay VAT and Market Rates. You also loose economy of scale as part of the group of community schools.
* You have to provide all management services and expertise in the school which is very expensive.
* Most independant schools as part of acadamies end up part of a privatised wider group (like Stockport Academy, ULT) and therfore you dont get the greater say you think. Competition based on cost and not quality tied into preferred providers.
* You are not fully independant as you answer to a unelected quango 'Young Peoples Learning Agency' so all it becomes is a private school with no demoractic control paid for by tax payers and totally unaccountable to its community.
Improvements and development come from making the right decisions and good planning - you can have all the autonomy in the world and still get it wrong. On a final note why did the Governors make the decision to consult on 28th March but only gave parents 2 weeks to consult??? People need all the facts to make their minds up not a 'glossy inaccurate document' with only 2 weeks to say if they want it or not.
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OliverJohnstone
Hazel Grove Councillor

OliverJohnstone
Re: HGHS V Hazel Grove Academy
23rd May 2011 at 9:33AM
I won't challenge you on your sums because I don't have access to the information you have.

However, I will challenge this idea that it will be a private school. That is simply false. These are simply state schools removed from the remit of the LEA. Nothing whatsoever to do with being a 'private' school.

Also, the Young People's Learning Agency is a quango that covers all sixth form education so that is not a feature exclusive to academies. How accountable are LEA schools now? Do parents really feel that as things stand they have a say in how their children's schools are run?
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Debbieh
Drifter
Re: HGHS V Hazel Grove Academy
23rd May 2011 at 10:07AM
They have now updated the school website with the questions and answers we could have done with at the beginning.

www.hazelgrovehigh.co.uk

However, I still cant decide what I think would be best, it sounds good but could all backfire!
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School Worker
Drifter
Re: HGHS V Hazel Grove Academy
23rd May 2011 at 5:12PM
The idea that you pay VAT because you aren't part of the academy is complete rubbish, you claim your VAT back.

The figures to do with setting up an academy and the government funding are about right.

As I stated before the increase in school fudning is only guaranteed for a year, much like the funding for any school is. Non-Academies budgets are being hit as hard as Academies are. The increase is budget is simple to work out really, its 10% back from council - newly bought in services from council. If you buy in less then 10% of your budget then you gain money, if its even then you wouldnt become one for financial reasons. I may add some councils are charging Academies more for "Admin" charges, meaning less schools will buy the services they provide. This would effect your economies of scale arguement to.

Also do you actually think most academies are part of a wider organisation? If so you are mistaken, that is a unions line, one as a Unison Rep i have discussed at huge lengths.

You do realise if say 5 schools in a council went independent they could provision services together? Thats what where I work has done and its CHEAPER then through the council, so economies of scale sadly failed here.

As I said, only time will tell whether academies are a good idea. Both sides of the argument over exaggerate the truth. Reality is, the curriculum will probably be very similar, the financial gains will be about 1-3% of the budget not the 10% at all.
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confused
Drifter
Re: HGHS V Hazel Grove Academy
23rd May 2011 at 5:56PM
school worker,
I find your posts quite confusing as its seems you are typing thoughts as they come into your head, but the sentences don't always seem to make much sense.
I'm interested in your opinions, but just can't follow what you are saying. Sorry.
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