John Roan Ordered To Become an Academy

News reaches us that today that the John Roan School on Maze Hill, Greenwich, has been forced into academisation by the government. Greenwich council have said they are “disappointed”.

 

John Roan Academisation

Cllr Danny Thorpe, leader of Greenwich Council, confirmed they had received a letter from the Regional Schools Commissioner this morning (Wednesday 13th June) to impose academy status on the school.

This means it will no longer be governed by the council. Instead, it will be given money directly by the Department for Education and will govern itself. A recent Ofsted report released on the 4th June rated the school as inadequate 

 

But what does Being an academy actually mean?

Essentially they are publicly funded schools which operate outside of local authority control. The government describes them as independent state-funded schools. Meaning they have lots more freedom than other schools over their finances, curriculum, and teachers’ pay and conditions. Neither do they have to follow the national curriculum. They can choose their own, as long as it is “broad and balanced”.

However, there have been several criticisms of Academisation with the Labour party saying that the changes benefit more privileged neighbourhoods and that the best schools will be able to “suck the best teachers and the extra money” leaving those left under local authority being regarded as second best. John Roan

NASUWT (National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers) has said that it could “segregate and fragment communities”. with The NUT (National Union of Teachers) saying the move could spell the end of state-provided education. John Roan

There are also fears that it will encourage too much freedom with faith schools or those with a fundamentalist agenda – for example, that they would allow the teaching of Creationism. These fears were dismissed by the then Education Secretary Michael Gove. As he pointed out that each school would have to, as part of their funding agreement with the government, show its curriculum is broad and balanced.

Several parents that we spoke to with children at the school and joining in September had been optimistic after meeting the new headteacher who starts full time in September. One also commented that the Ofsted report for her, was never a factor as the decision was all about whether her child felt safe, confident and happy within the school environment.