Page 1 of 3
Headteachers of secondary schools that have converted to become academies share their top tips about the conversion process:
Be prepared to commit extra management time, including finance. Talk to previous converters. Make sure the headteacher is not taking the responsibility alone and that it is shared with key staff and governors in implementation.
The Arnewood School, Hampshire
Seek support from a recent converter and keep it simple. Consult at every stage.
The Hathershaw College of Technology and Sport, Oldham
Plan to set aside plenty of time for the conversion process, and think carefully right from the start and get things right first time. Take plenty of advice, not just from legal people, but from those who have travelled the journey! It is vital to get the right structures in place before you start. Do it! It is worth it in the end.
Good solicitors, good infrastructural support and release of key staff time was the essential lesson, as was open communication with all stakeholders.
The Coopers Company and Coburn, Havering
Schools considering converting should start as early as possible with tasks they are able to do, such as considering Trust membership, the governing body structure, preparing to open new bank accounts, locating the schools deeds (where applicable), transfer of pension, contacting unions etc.
The King John Secondary, Essex
We are able to react quicker to the needs of the school now we don’t have to adhere to LA timescales.
The King John School, Essex
We continue to strengthen our own school whilst developing strong partnerships with other schools over time to move them forward. Staff undertake outreach work which develops them and potentially helps them to move into school leadership positions.
TootHill School, Nottinghamshire
We are working with other schools in the South Warwickshire Partnership, including one with which we are formally linked as they are converting as a school with more inspection issues. Joint INSET, joint staff induction, joint work with trainees, sharing good practice sessions, joint approaches to KS4 into KS5 progression, coherent curriculum planning and SMT support.
AlcesterGrammar School, Warwickshire
We are supporting two local primary schools and one local PRU, to raise standards in teaching and learning and expand opportunities for a greater KS4 curriculum with the PRU. We are hoping to be able to continue our existing partnerships, particularly with partner primaries, and expand them as appropriate. We are also expanding our partnership at sixth form level with another secondary school and the local college.
CannockChase High School, Staffordshire
Since our academy conversion we have maintained our commitment to our existing partners and developed new relationships. We maintain an open door and regularly welcome visitors who come in to learn from our experience. Three schools have visited us since April 2011 to look at our work on inclusion and we have contributed to LA and bespoke training. We have also provided ‘governor to governor’ support for a school, a new partner, to help them move their governance from ‘unsatisfactory’ to ‘good’ and we have continued to provide curriculum support in Science and MFL to a school who we are delighted to learn has just come out of special measures.
CircencesterDeer Park Secondary School, Gloucestershire
We are working very closely with one of our main feeder primary schools on joint strategies to raise literacy and numeracy. We are sharing experience and knowledge on assessment, quality assurance, teaching and learning and are maximising resources within the two schools, including the finance team, sporting and science facilities.
LincolnCastle Academy, Lincolnshire
We have supported a feeder primary school with a range of activities in a formalised plan. The school has moved from special monitoring by the LA to an OFSTED category of good.
The Corsham School, Wiltshire
Page 1 of 3