curriculum

How long is a school day? How long is a piece of string?

One of the much vaunted ‘freedoms‘ which academies ‘enjoy’ is the ability to decide on the length of the school day. Anyway, from September 2012, maintained schools will enjoy pretty much the same freedom, because the Secretary of State has revoked the old ‘Circular 7/90′ which specified minimum day lengths and the like in maintained…

New model funding agreement precludes creationism?

On 9 January 2012 the Department issued a new model funding agreement for free schools. It contains a provision being hailed by the media as a victory over the Creationists. The new clause 24A says this: “The Academy Trust shall not make provision in the context of any subject for the teaching, as an evidence-based…

Who looks at acanofworms?

I’m delighted that there have now been been over 10,00 views (setttling down to an average of about 1,000 a week) of this blog. Judging by who follows acanofworms on twitter, they come from a wide range of backgrounds and interests, some pro academies, some anti academies and some just interested. Do all feel free…

Academies putting pupils on ‘reduced timetables’

I am seeing and hearing about a growing number of pupils being placed by Academies on ‘reduced timetables‘, or on ‘vocational courses’ despite being clearly capable of full time and more academic courses. I can’t refer to most of them in any detail because of confidentiality concerns. But I have been given permission by the…

What about discrimination against disabled people?

The short answer is that is unlawful for a public authority (and that includes academies and free schools) to discriminate against disabled people. The rules relating to academies/free schools and discrimination generally are in another post. This post deals with the extra rules that relate to disability discrimination. Section 85(6) of the Equality Act 2010…

What about the Independent School Standards?

The short answer is that, as independent schools, academies and free schools must comply with the independent school standards, albeit in a slightly modified form. Academies and free schools are in law types of independent school. That means that the Independent School Standards Regulations as set out in schedule 1 to the regulations apply. However,…

What about the National Curriculum?

The short answer is that academies and free schools are not bound directly by the National Curriculum but those created towards the end of the Labour Government were required by their funding agreement to comply with many of its requirements. In simple terms: Academies and free schools are not directly bound by the National Curriculum.…