School Governors Get Facts On Academy Status

The Five Islands School

The Five Islands School Governors have heard what independence from the Council as an academy could mean.

The Government is pushing schools to look after their own interests and is assisting with the transition from local authorities, but no decision has been made about our school yet.

On Wednesday, Sally Piper, the Diocese Academies Officer, outlined the pros and cons of becoming a stand-alone body.

Supporters feel academies can create their own jobs, staff roles and pay scales and can tailor a curriculum and even their term times to local need.

Opponents question how accountable academies are to their community once they leave local authority control.

Mrs Piper’s presentation follows a visit from a union official last year, who spoke against academy status.

Soon, the governors will hear the view of Penny Penn Howard, the Council’s Community Services Director and Headteacher of the Five Islands School, Bryce Wilby.

Bryce says the Diocese are not pushing the school in any particular direction.

He says they just want the Governors to decide what is best for the school and that could mean keeping the status quo, becoming a trust school, or academy, or working in partnership with other schools.

Bryce says Mrs Piper gave a balanced overview of what academy status would mean including the benefits and issues of changing.

And Bryce says the decision can’t be taken lightly. Sally told Governors that the school has a unique and potentially beneficial relationship with the Council.

Once a decision is made it takes three months to make the change.

The Governors don’t have to make a decision at all, but if they did, there would be extensive community consultation.