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All low performing schools becoming an academy are expected to have a sponsor who will bring added drive, expertise and capacity. Sponsors have made a huge contribution to the academies programme to date.
A good sponsor can play a pivotal role in turning round and improving the life chances of pupils in some of the most disadvantaged and worst performing schools in the country.
Sponsors come from a wide range of backgrounds, including;
All bring a record of success in other enterprises and a diverse range of experience and expertise, which they are able to apply to their academies in partnership with experienced school managers. What unites them is a passion for educational excellence and opportunity and capacity to bring it about.
"Our overall conclusion is that sponsorship contributes significantly to school improvement, and Ofsted confirms this view."1
Academy sponsors are accountable for progressive and sustainable improvements to performance in their schools. We expect them to lead on improvement and challenge traditional ways of thinking on how schools are run and what they should be like for students. They seek to achieve success, and break with cultures of low aspiration which afflict too many communities and their schools.
In return, sponsors know they are transforming life chances for the next generation. For some, it is putting something back into communities - often communities they know well.
The dedication to and real excitement for education and change - as demonstrated by existing sponsors - is infectious, and the best inspiration for those considering becoming sponsors themselves. They bring real expertise across a range of skills such as business acumen, legal advice, financial management and administration.
1 PWC Academies Evaluation 5th Annual Report (2008)
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