From our friends at myAcademies.org.uk, the online community for academies and converting schools:
Academy conversion is about a school taking its place in a growing community – not sitting alone in a darkened room. Converting to an academy opens the door to a community system of support, networking and management aid, with schools under the scheme coming together to ensure that setting up and working in an academy is a rewarding experience.
Converting as primary or secondary school into an academy can throw up a variety of logistical, accounting and educational factors that you may not have considered whilst under the governance of your Local Authority.
However, the academies support system can provide you with all the help you need – from ironing out teething problems to establishing best teaching practices.
Converting academies have access to a wealth of information, advice and support from other academies, free schools and faith schools in their area and beyond, as these institutions are similar in the ways in which they are governed and managed.
Useful tools, links and websites:
Whilst sometimes difficult to navigate, the Department for Education website provides an extensive catalogue of information regarding both the conversion process and the necessary first steps each academy should take following their conversion from a maintained school under LA management to an independent academy.
The Education Funding Agency (EFA) play a key role in the establishment of every academy in England, and thorough knowledge of the funding process is vital in order to succeed as a converted school. The EFA’s ‘new starter’ letter can be found here and provides thorough information on the processes and deadlines for finance.
Converting as part of an academy chain or trust instantly connects you and your school to an existing community of support and experience of the scheme. As a link in an academy chain, your school gains access to help regarding resources, teaching best practice, lesson plans, pension information and even extra funding, all reliant on the needs of you and your school. For more information on the different kinds of academy chains, read the DfE documentation below.
Knowledgeable and friendly staff, leaders and governors from existing academies and academy chains are an invaluable resource during the conversion process, and myAcademies provides the perfect tools through which to establish relationships with these figures. Treat the site like your online academies address book, and you’ll find yourself in conversation with staff and leaders who are keen to support you on your journey and share advice on how to manage with the process.
For more great content and discussion make sure you join myAcademies.org.uk now here or download the app from the app store.
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