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Governor Live review: Conversion timescales after changes to the White Paper

Governor Live review: Conversion timescales after changes to the White Paper

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The second in the series of Governor Live Considerations for Conversion events was held on Thursday the 17th of November 2016. Christine Bayliss from C:BECS, Michelle Gray from berg and Karen Rae from Armstrong Watson – our panel of presenters who took part in the first Considerations for Conversion event and will also be sharing advice in the final two events – explored some of the implications of the recent announcement that significant sections of Educational Excellence Everywhere would be withdrawn, and what this might mean for schools’ conversion timescales.

Prior to the presentations starting, those attending where asked to respond to a question about the effects of the changes to the White Paper on their decision making regarding academisation:

Q: What has been your response to the recent announcement about the White Paper?

  • 8.3% We’ve already converted
  • 16.7% Nothing’s changed, we’re already engaged in the conversion process and are continuing onwards
  • 50% We’re ‘proceeding with caution’ – still looking to convert, but under less pressure now
  • 25% We’re waiting to see what happens locally before we make any decision either way
  • 0% We’ve hit the brakes and are looking for reverse

Outline of the event:

Here’s how the event proceeded – once you’ve read the questions, scroll down further for the recordings:

  • Introduction
  • Presentation by Christine Bayliss of C:BECS on what changes to the White Paper might mean for schools looking to academise
  • Presentation by Michelle Gray of berg on the legal timescales pre-conversion
  • Presentation by Karen Rae of Armstrong Watson on the financial timescale pre-conversion
  • Q&A addressing the following questions (a selection of those asked by participants):
    • Should our FGB minute our discussions about converting even if we decide not to convert?
    • Is there an inevitability that LA funding is going to be throttled to force academisation
    • Any truth in the rumour the £20k additional ‘incentive’ to convert will be reintroduced soon?
    • My burning question is whether there still exists the potential for large capital grants to support new building. My school needs a much bigger hall!
    • How realistic is it for a MAT of primaries to achieve significant economies of scale?
    • Would you recommend consulting with parents/staff/others before or after you chose a MAT partner if joining a MAT?
    • If creating a new MAT, how would you go about getting the correct expertise on your board? I have concerns as a Chair of becoming a “Trustee” of the MAT?
    • Won’t governors always lose their statutory powers when their school joins a MAT?
    • Does a school have to declare. cash reserve on joining a MAT
    • One potential partner MAT suggested we convert to a foundation school 1st then join their MAT. This is so we can transfer all the land and assets on the land to the full control of the MAT. Any thoughts on this, has anyone hears this happening elsewhere?
    • In my area, very few of our primaries have academised or federated – realistically how many primaries need to get together to survive financially?
  • Evaluations and Thanks for attending

Presentation slides

Here are slides from the main presentation, reproduced and shared with the presenters’ permission:

Feedback from participants

Similarly to the first Considerations for Conversion session, the evaluation and feedback of the session was overwhelmingly positive:

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?

  • Answered a lot of the grey areas!
  • Convenient and breadth / coverage good
  • Informed answers
  • Good to learn while sitting at home! Useful presentations – right length
  • Opportunity to ask the experts directly
  • Informal, just like having a normal conversation with people in the same situation
  • Ability to get an independent view
  • An unbiased presentation
  • Knowledgeable presenters
  • Like that you account for working governors by having sessions in the evening.
  • The practical help offered and the opportunity to ask questions live.
  • Good information presented

View the recordings of Considerations for Conversion – Introduction

There are two versions of the recording available:

Flash-based – non-mobile friendly, searchable, more interactive

View this recording from the Modern Governor Adobe Connect server – this version is searchable with built-in bookmarks, but requires Adobe Flash, hence it won’t be viewable on a tablet or smartphone.

YouTube – mobile-friendly

View the recording on the Modern Governor YouTube channel:

Future Considerations for Conversion events

As outlined in this session, there are two further Considerations for Conversion events planned – on consecutive Thursday evenings at 8pm for an hour:

  • 1st December 2016 – Leading a MAT
  • 8th December 2016 – Joining a MAT

To register for these visit – and visit for an archive of all Governor Live-related information, now and in the future. Once you’ve registered for one of these, the same login information will give you access to all future Governor Live events if you’d like to attend them.

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