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Considerations for conversion: timescales after changes to the White Paper

Considerations for conversion: timescales after changes to the White Paper

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Governor Live logoThe series of Governor Live online events continues with the second in the Considerations for Conversion series. This session – which like all Governor Live online events is free to register and attend – will be held at 8pm until 9pm on Thursday the 17th of November 2016 and will allow governors to explore some of the practical considerations they will need to bear in mind around converting to academy status.

But wait – isn’t academisation a thing of the past now?

Although the headlines around the fate of Educational Excellence Everywhere might make the casual reader assume that no further schools will become academies, the pragmatic truth is less simple. The government still wants all schools to academise and the changes which academisation brings – such as a guaranteed period without being inspected by Ofsted (PDF) – remain. Local authorities’ responsibilities for school improvement are due to remain – but with no funds to carry out this function, the prospects for maintained schools is unclear at best.

With that in mind, it’s even more important now for schools to understand and be able to explain and account for their reasons for academisation – as the phrase “because the DfE made us do it” isn’t a viable one when explaining to the school’s wider community about any forthcoming changes. While the ‘coasting schools‘ measure will still be one of the criteria through which academisation may come about, when a school converts governors will need to be able to explain clearly what will happen (and explain why), outline the timescales and ensure that they understand the financial and legal implications ahead.

In the light of the recent announcements, the next Considerations for Conversion online event will focus around meeting the needs and answering the questions of governors who are unsure about what the shifts in government policy mean for their school. We’ll be basing much of what we say around attendees’ questions, and the event will help governors understand some of the preparation required before either leading or joining a multi-academy trust – which are the topics covered in the final two Considerations for Conversion events.

Bring your school’s questions and queries

In this second session our same three experts will be on hand to answer questions from schools who aren’t sure if their plans have changed. Christine Bayliss of C:BECS, Michelle Gray of berg and Karen Rae from Armstrong Watson will help governors understand the practical timescales around conversion. There are many factors – the approach of your local authority, your school’s financial situation, what approach you want to take to school improvement and the presence (or lack of) a good multi-academy trust in your geographical area. As a primer for next Thursday’s session, it’s worth reading Christine’s Schools Week article: Should maintained schools convert to academies?

Following on from this session, the series will continue with a more detailed analysis of the core preferred routes when we discuss the key considerations on each journey to ensure that all structures, processes, networks and teams provide the best practice framework and education for your pupils. These further sessions in the Considerations for Conversion series will take place during the autumn term on Thursdays in November and December:

  • Thursday 1st Dec at 8pm on Leading a MAT;
  • Thursday 8th Dec at 8pm on Joining a MAT.

and you can register for them all at for Conversion is presented by Modern Governor in conjunction with berg, Armstrong Watson and CBECS – and all sessions are free to register for and attend. You can review the initial introduction to the series in our blog post reviewing it – and to encourage you to take part, here’s some of the incredibly positive feedback from that session:

Q: Would you recommend Governor Live sessions like this to your colleagues in governance?

  • Yes: 100%
  • No: 0%
  • Not sure: 0%

Q: In your own words, what was good about this event?

  • “Started to help me to understand more about conversion”
  • “Ability to ask specific questions”
  • “All the content was useful, thank you – especially opportunity for Q & As.”
  • “…opportunity to see other governors’ views and thoughts on this subject”
  • “The overview split into 3 separate specialist areas”
  • “Everything”
  • “…lots of information and a clear overview”
  • “Thank you – this was my first webinar”
  • “…loads of useful information…”

How to take part

To register for this next event simply visit the registration page. Registration is free and enables you to access the subsequent Considerations for Conversion sessions, along with any future Governor Live online events. Each session will be recorded – and even if you can’t attend on the night, registering will give you access to the recordings as soon as they are released.

Image credit: Gears! by Chris H – licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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