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Academy - what does it mean?

What is an Academy?

An academy is a state-funded school that is independent of the local authority, that is required to follow the same regulations and serve its community in the same way as other state-funded schools.

The Government's Academies Programme

The Government says that it wants all schools to become academies over the next few years, and is encouraging schools to become academies as part of a group of schools working together in partnership.

Any school that is outstanding (as Bransgore is) or good with outstanding features may apply to become an academy; plus any school can apply as part of a group of schools where at least one is good with outstanding features. To become an academy a school is required to support another school (or schools) to raise standards.

Freedom and Control

As an academy Bransgore has greater freedom from local authority control: the Governing Body has greater control over how the allocated budget is used; additional freedoms around the nature and delivery of the curriculum; and the ability to take certain decisions such as setting the lengths of terms and school day without the need for local authority approval.

As an academy Bransgore must still provide a broad and balanced curriculum. We are now in the process of a two year long full curriculum review which will consider how we can best meet the unique needs of our children and make sure that they are ready for secondary school.

The school continues to be subject to Ofsted monitoring and inspections. In addition, we work in partnership with other local schools and school leaders nationally to support each other and ensure standards are maintained.

Character of the school

There is no change to the character of the school: it would continue to look, feel and be the way it is now.

Bransgore continues to operate as a non-selective primary school, at the heart of our local community, providing high quality education for local children of all abilities and maintaining our high profile in the local community, working with other schools and community groups.

Admissions

As an academy there is no change to the school’s admissions criteria – the same pupils would come to Bransgore as would come if it were not an academy.

Each academy manages its own admissions process and must abide by the Admissions Code and participate in the coordination of place planning with the local authority. An academy cannot introduce selection.

Inclusion

The responsibilities of an academy towards students with special needs is the same as for a non-academy school.

As an academy our commitment to all students including those with special education needs continue; the SEN facilities at Bransgore and its inclusive and comprehensive nature defines the school.

Exclusions

As an academy, Bransgore must follow the law and guidance on exclusions in the same way it does now; but the school does not have to consult the local authority before deciding to exclude a pupil and arrange its own independent appeals panel.

Funding

Academies receive the same level of per-pupil funding as a maintained school, but has greater freedom in how the budget is used.

As an academy the school receives an additional grant equal to the sum of money currently ‘top sliced’ from the education budget by the local authority to provide services to the school. As an academy it can choose to buy some or all of these services from the local authority; or it can choose to provide or buy in some of these services from elsewhere and to vary the detail of the services based on the school’s needs. The school may be able to secure better value for money and free up money to use for the school’s own priorities.

Term Dates and the School Day

As an academy Bransgore continues to co-ordinate our term dates with as many other local schools as possible.

Procedures for consulting on changes to the school day will be no different if Bransgore becomes an academy. The school day will only be changed on the basis of consultation and no change is currently felt to be necessary.

Academy Governance

An academy is formally run by an Academy Trust that is set up as a charitable company and can delegate functions to a Governing Body. It takes decisions about how the school operates and spends its budget. Academy Trustees have a legal duty to operate in the interests of the school.

As an academy the composition of the Trust and the Governing Body is determined by the current Governing Body and agreed as part of the ‘agreement’ or ‘contract’ with the DfE.

Our Academy Trustee & Members are:

Governors                       Current Office                                                   Appointed     Meetings Attended

Mr Kevin Candy                 Community Governor                                               03.02.2016     2015-16 - 7/9

Mr Paul Brown                   Headteacher & Accounting Officer                      03.09.2013     2015-16 - 9/9

Mrs Nikki Pollitt                Staff Governor                                                           19.06.2013      2015-16 - 8/9

Mr Terry Gibson                Chairman                                                                      01.12.2011        2015-16 - 8/9

Mrs Jennifer Hunter         Vice Chair                                                                     01.09.2013      2015-16 - 6/9

Rev Dr Ben Sargent          Foundation Governor                                               01.07.2013      2015-16 - 6/9

Mrs Kerry Stopa                 Foundation Governor                                              22.09.2014      2015-16 - 6/9

Mrs Melanie Warman       Foundation Governor                                               22.09.2014     2015-16 - 3/9

Mrs Sarah Hogg                 Community Governor                                               22.09.2014     2015-16 - 9/9

Mrs Alison Hawkes            Parent Governor                                                        17.10.2014       2015-16 - 9/9

Mrs Suzanne Darlington  Parent Governor                                                        01.12.2015       2015-16 - 6/6

Mrs Allie Hack                     Parent Governor                                                        10.11.2017 

Mrs Wendy Keene MBE    Company Secretary/Clerk to the Governors     20.05.2014     2015-16 - 9/9

 

Officers:

Mr Paul Brown - Headteacher & Accounting Officer

Mrs Nikki Pollitt - Deputy Headteacher

Mr David Green - Assistant Headteacher

Mrs. Katie Swift/Miss B Pidgley - Finance Manager/Finance Officer

Mr Martin Saunders - Site Manager

Mrs. Angela Barnes - SCITT Director

Mrs Susan Barrett - Deputy SCITT Director

Registered Office

Bransgore CE Primary School, Ringwood Road, Bransgore, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 8JH

Company Registration Number: 07803789