Academy FAQs from the Consultation meeting held in November 2017
Why are we becoming an Academy?
Archbishop Bernard asked all Catholic schools in the Archdiocese to be ‘academy ready’ by end of May 2017. As requested, we were ready and took the opportunity to be in the MAC from the start, so we can help to form the MAC for our children.
Why St Teresa of Calcutta Multi-academy, what has she to do with Birmingham?
As Heads and Chairs of Governors, we sat down and wrote out the three values and virtues we wanted our MAC to be formed around. When we compared our choices the stand out ones were those that St Teresa stood for the most, particularly the virtue of compassion.
We are going to be the only primary school with two senior schools, how will that help us?
Firstly, there are many different formations for a MAC. This is unusual, one primary to two senior, however, another primary school will be joining us at a slightly delayed timetable and other primary schools have shown an interest in joining us from other parts of the city.
How will academisation affect the provision for my child?
It will not negatively however, taking control of the school funding means we can buy in the services we feel best for our children. These may come from the local authority, but they may come from elsewhere – it will be what we consider to be the best.
Does academising with two senior schools mean we cannot apply to other senior schools?
No you can apply to whichever school you wish. Choice of schools comes from a set of criteria every school has to follow when admitting children – that will remain the same.
Will the senior schools have more power than the primary school?
No, this is a group of mutually support schools that hold each other to account for our pupils’ progress and attainment but also support each other to ensure we achieve the best for our pupils. The support we, as a primary, can receive from the specialist provision of senior schools will help develop staff, which will enhance provision for our children, and we, as a primary, can help develop the senior schools’ staff in understanding the primary curriculum, assessment and pupils’ entry points, to senior school, leading to stronger transition.
Does this mean that you cannot work with other primary schools?
No, we work in a group of Catholic schools, in the larger, local area, called the CENTs group; this will not change. We will also look to working with other schools to help our professional development and improve our curriculum.
When is the timeline for conversion: When is this likely to happen?
It is the intention that we will convert in time for April 1st 2018. However, we have to accept that if a situation arises that is out of our control, the timeline will be looked at again with the intention that September 2018 will be the next likely conversion date.
Will there be new Academy pay and working conditions?
This question will be addressed in greater depth during TUPE process in January.
Will the three schools remain Catholic?
Yes. One of the main reasons for converting to an academy is to ensure that the schools remain Catholic. Although we will become an academy the schools will remain under the control of the Archdiocese of Birmingham.
What curriculum changes might there be?
The Department for Education is changed the National Curriculum in 2014 and the schools will have to look at how they function in an environment with a much more basic National Curriculum and the removal of pupil levels. Changes are likely to be around content rather than the skills and concepts which pupils are learning. It will be our aim to provide all pupils with a broad and balanced relevant curriculum which enables them to reach their full potential.
Will the uniform be changing?
Will the name of the school change?
Who will own the schools?
Nothing changes here, the schools remain owned by the trustees of the Diocese.
Will a significant number of staff leave?
We think this is unlikely. As there is no change to their terms and conditions of employment there is no disadvantage to staff from a conversion. Often staff have left Academies that have been underperforming after conversion because of increased pressure to raise standards. We do not have that issue.
Who will the Board of Directors be accountable to?
Accountable to Ofsted and the DfE directly.
Will Directors be paid?
Will the budgets for the three schools be allocated to those schools?
The funding for each school is allocated separately to that school. All schools would then choose to pool some of their budgets for services they share, and would spend whatever was left in the individual school. The Academy Committee in each school will then decide how that funding is spent.
Will the Sixth Form be safe?
Funding for Sixth Forms is already low. Governors reviewed this in 2016. We intend to keep the Sixth Form open.