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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Mr. Paul Brown - Headteacher & Accounting Officer
Mrs. Nikki Pollitt - Deputy Headteacher
Mr. David Green - Assistant Headteacher
Mrs. Katie Swift/Miss Becky Pidgley - Finance Manager/Finance Officer
Mr. Martin Saunders - Site Manager
Bransgore CE Primary School, Ringwood Road, Bransgore, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 8JH
Company Registration Number: 07803789
Registered in England
|Trustee Name||Gov for||Appointed||Re-appt/elec||Pecuniary Interests||Expiry|
|Mr Paul Brown HEAD||CEO/HT||03/09/2013||None||N/A|
|Mrs Nikki Pollitt||Staff||19/06/2013||19/06/2021||None||18/06/2025|
|Mr Aidan Richards||Staff||22/11/2021||None||22/11/2025|
|Rev Dr Ben Sargent||Foundation||01/07/2013||None||N/A|
|Mrs Kerry Stopa||Foundation||22/09/2014||22/09/2018||None||21/09/2022|
|Mrs Alexandra Gifford||Foundation||24/01/2019||None||23/01/2023|
|Mrs Jennifer Hunter* CHAIR||Co-opted||01/09/2013||01/09/2017||None||31/08/2023|
|Mrs Beth Miles||Co-opted||01/09/2021||None||31/08/2025|
|Mrs Margaret Mangles||Parent||05/11/2019||None||04/11/2023|
|Mr Mark Saxby||Co-opted||23/11/2020||Headup Ed Ltd - Education Consultant||22/11/2024|
|Mrs Hollie Collins||Parent||23/11/2020||None||22/11/2024|
|Mrs Suzi Troye||Parent||17/12/2020||None||16/12/2024|