Academies plan for ‘fail list’ schools
Government orders one to convert, and four others may do too
TWO Southport primary schools are set to be converted into academies. Both Holy Trinity CE Primary School and St Theresa’s Catholic Infant School will soon have academy status, according to Sefton Council documents.
Under Department for Education rules, any school that receives an “inadequate” Ofsted rating must be converted to academy status by the government.
St Theresa’s, on Everton Road in Birkdale, received such a rating in December 2016 and will now be forced to convert.
And bosses at Holy Trinity have voluntarily requested that it become an academy.
Despite criticism from many parents and teachers, the Government says that schools benefit from academy status as they are able to have more control over how their budgets are spent.
Academies also do not have to follow the National Curriculum, so are said to have much more flexibility about what they choose to cover.
However, government rules do state that academies must teach a “broad and balanced curriculum”, including English, mathematics, science and religious education.
After conversion, academies continue to be inspected by Ofsted and enter students for the same exams as traditional schools.
According to the documents which were presented to the council’s cabinet last week, Shoreside Primary School in Ainsdale had also been lined up for academy conversion after receiving an “inadequate” Ofsted rating in March.
However, parents and staff reacted to the report with shock and dismay and the school immediately said it planned to submit an appeal.
Before that appeal was processed though, Shoreside was reinspected and received a better overall score – meaning it is no longer classed as failing.
Although it was listed on the same council document informing of the conversion plans, Shoreside’s headteacher Mr Thomas explained that the reinspection means the school is no longer due to be converted.
Away from Southport, four other schools in Sefton are also set to become academies.
The Department for Education has ordered that Savio Salesian College, in Bootle, be converted, while governors at Litherland Moss Primary School, Litherland; St Andrews CE Primary School, Maghull; and St Thomas CE Primary School, Lydiate; have all applied to become academies.
According the official documents, Sefton Council will be responsible for any budget deficits left by schools at the point of conversion.
If any funds are left is a school’s reserves when it converts, the money is transferred to the academy trust.
According to the Department for Education, both St Theresa’s and Savio are due to open as academies on December 1.
No date has been put forward for the other schools, with much of the process still remaining.
Two Southport schools will soon become academies, according to Sefton Council documents