Academy Network offers free conference to schools

06 Apr 2011

 Like it or not, academy status is looming for increasing numbers of  schools. A survey of its head teacher members, conducted by ASCL, found that 46%  had either already converted or were planning to do so, with a further 34% undecided. Only 19% said they would definitely not go down the academy route.

It's clear that money is the driving factor for most,  with the budget squeeze at the start of this new financial year concentrating minds. 

However one big question for those that have not yet taken the plunge is whether the financial advantage that has been available for early converters will still be there further down the road.  There are also issues about how to replace, and pay for, services previously provided by the LA.

For schools that have either already decided to take the leap - or others who just want more information - there's the opportunity of free advice at the Academy Network's first annual conference in Birmingham. I'll be chairing the event at  at the delightfully-named venue, The Custard Factory. It is free to delegates

Plenary speakers include Mike Gibbons, CEO of The Richard Rose Federation in Carlisle, which combined three former schools into two academies. Mike is always great value and has unrivalled experience, having been head at four schools before entering the Civil Service at the Innovation Unit.  

We will also be hearing from former Schools Commissioner, Sir Bruce Liddington who is now Director-general of E-ACT, the multi-academy sponsor with ambitious plans to grow its network.

A third plenary will be will be jointly delivered by Fran Kirke, Managing Director of Worklife Support and Ivan Baird Assistant Principal of Pimlico Academy. Worklife Support is a social enterprise that has worked with over 3500 education establishments, providing Well-Being Services. Pimlico Academy was judged Outstanding by Ofsted in 2011 just over two years after the predecessor school had come out of special measures.

Breakout sessions will cover: strategic planning, the legal aspects of opening and running an academy, financial accountability, shared services, and sponsorship.

Full details at: www.academynetwork.co.uk/conference/

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