• Changes in the Financial Handbook for Academies

    The focus this year is on transparency, with the 2015 handbook seeking to bring in new rules to ensure academies spend public money wisely and fairly The annual Financial Handbook for Academies is rapidly becoming a rule book for the industry – and the 2015 edition contains several stand-out changes that need careful consideration. Here

    6.00 Sep. 21st, 2015 | Opinion

  • Questions for new CEOs

    Becoming chief executive of a multi-academy trust (MAT) or federation is an exciting step forward for many headteachers and gives the profession new bands of leadership to aim towards. But the change in role from head or executive head to chief executive should not be underestimated; neither should the move from a single school to

    6.00 Sep. 15th, 2015 | Opinion

  • Nicky Morgan: Academies are a 'better kind' of school than local authority ones

    Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show this morning, education secretary Nicky Morgan agreed that academies are a ‘better kind’ of school than those overseen by local authorities. Ms Morgan appeared on the show to reval planned government powers for firing headteachers and forcing ‘coasting’ schools – described as those with poor levels of progress –

    10.34 May. 17th, 2015 | News

  • Land sharing: it’s going to be difficult to resist

    The DfE cannot compel academies to share their land, but changes to funding agreements will make it difficult to resist Amid concerns about the shortage of pupil places at primary schools in England, the Department for Education (DfE) has introduced new provisions into the model funding agreements of academy schools. These are designed to enable

    7.30 Mar. 14th, 2015 | Opinion

  • We are about to enter purdah

    The looming general election will regulate the conduct of public bodies, including the DfE, local authorities – and schools. You might, for instance, face a four-month wait for a decision on an academy conversion Purdah, a word of Persian origin, means “curtain”. It’s also a word that we hear a lot of every four years

    7.30 Feb. 14th, 2015 | Opinion

  • Is a new model of school collaboration emerging?

    Collaboration is a new buzzword in education, but there are many ways it can happen. Expert Alison Talbot describes how one option in particular may be coming to the fore. At the beginning of the school term, a number of exciting collaborations and partnerships coming to fruition, with many free schools, university technical colleges and

    11.46 Oct. 24th, 2014 | Opinion

  • Location, location, location: it really does make a difference

    Becoming an academy can help to raise school performance, but it’s more difficult if you’re on the coast Location really makes a difference to learners’ outcomes. I know: I have spent most of my 25 years in education as a teacher, senior leader, teacher educator and researcher in coastal regions. Only recently has there been

    7.30 Oct. 11th, 2014 | Opinion

  • Federations should not be swept under the MAT

    Multi-academy trusts are on everybody’s lips, but don’t dismiss the federation option In an era of increasing school autonomy and declining local authority capacity, the need for schools to work collaboratively is greater than ever. There are a variety of ways schools can do this, from loose partnerships to more formal arrangements involving shared governance

    7.30 Sep. 28th, 2014 | Opinion

  • The advantages of scale

    Having co-authored a new report suggesting performance would improve if the government let every primary school spin out from its local authority and join an academy chain, Annaliese Briggs explains the thinking behind her idea There is something of a perfect storm ahead for primary schools. Pupils’ performance has steadily improved, but a combination of

    7.30 Sep. 27th, 2014 | Opinion