academies creation

conversion to becoming a “sponsored academy” – what does it mean?

The Department uses words like “partner” to describe the relationship between a school and its “sponsor” but that seems very misleading to me. As indeed does the word “sponsor”. I recently attended a presentation given by one of the Department’s “Academy Brokers” – apparently employed (or engaged – I am not sure whether he was…

No longer a presumption that new schools will be academies?

The legal presumption that new schools should academies is in tatters after a court judgment given on 14 December 2012. On 16 November 2012, the British Humanist Association (BHA) and Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign (RISC) learnt that they had lost their legal challenge to Richmond’s decision to give the go ahead a Catholic Voluntary Aided…

Beware: once the governors of a maintained school have applied for an academy order, they may be powerless to stop its conversion into an academy

In rejecting a judicial review challenge to the Secretary of State’s decision that Downhills Primary School in Haringey should become an academy a High Court judge has reached conclusions about the consultation obligation under the Academies Act 2010 which will have consequences which many will find surprising. The judge was considering an application for permission…

Why parents should support their maintained school becoming an academy.

An interesting document has appeared on the Downhills School web site this week. Downhills is currently being run by an Interim Executive Board (IEB) after the Secretary of State removed the previous governing body. In other posts, I have explained how that process sits within the legal framework being used to push through ‘forced conversions’.…

Downhills ‘victory’ – so what were the legal issues?

The Secretary of State has today agreed that there should be another Ofsted inspection of Downhills Primary School in Haringey rather than it being forced to become an academy, as he had previously insisted. The governors welcomed his decision. For a news report see here. So what were the legal issues? Following an Ofsted inspection…

Is consultation binding?

The simple answer is that consultation is generally not binding. All that is required is that the consulter conscientiously takes into account what consultees say. So even if all responses point one way, the consulter can take them into account and go the other way (provided, of course, they can identify good reasons to do…

How long must a consultation last?

The simple answer is that there is no fixed limit or hard rule. The essential question is was the process ‘fair’. That depends partly on the way in which consultation was undertaken and partly on how long it lasted. Major public consultations normally allow 12 weeks. But with something like consultation on a proposal to…