Chivenor School: teachers say NO to academy bid

Teachers at Chivenor School have voted overwhelmingly against the governors’ plans to become an academy.
The resounding NO vote from the teaching staff comes after governors had told parents that they had unanimously voted in favour of applying for academy status.
If the plans go ahead, the school will break away from Birmingham Education Authority by September.
Teaching staff at the school took advice from the three main teaching unions, the NUT, the NAS/UWT and the ATL. In a ballot of 33 staff, just one person supported the academy bid. 31 staff opposed the academy proposals, and one person abstained.
A spokesperson for the teaching staff has asked governors to consider the teachers’ responses in their negotiations with the academy providers.
The teaching staff are happy to support their headteacher in the efforts to raise standards at the school, says the spokesperson.
The school has been under pressure to improve because it fell below the government’s standards in English and maths in this year’s school league tables.


14 responses to “Chivenor School: teachers say NO to academy bid

  1. It will be interesting to see what the academisation process means by “consultation” with this result.

  2. martin holister

    My son goes to this school and I would like to know whether the teachers saying no is in the interest of the kids or the teachers themselves.

    Is there evidence that changing a school to academy status improves the standards of education in the school, if so then that must be recognised as a good thing for the kids.

    From this vote it seems the teachers have consulted their unions who look after them for maybe selfish reasons and not considered if this would be beneficial to the children.

  3. There is no evidence to show that academies improve standards, apparently the worse school is an academy. What matters is the standard of management in the school and the teachers. The move to academies is a tory driven political aspiration. You lose Local Authority Control, you also lose their support and the school becomes a business.

  4. martin holister

    It’s not entirely fair to say, as several union leaders did, that there is no evidence whatsoever that academies are increasing performance.

    Much of the academic research done so far has tended to show positive results, including the counter-intuitive effect noted by Machin and Vernoit where schools that were geographically close to successful academies saw their results improve as well, even though the academies tended to poach the “best” pupils in the area.

    If changing the school to an academy improves teaching, management and results is that a bad?

    Why shoot something down before it’s had a chance.

  5. Martin you say your child attends the school. Surely the key question is how satisfied are you with the education they receive. If you are happy, let them get on with it.
    The situation at the secondary school is very different with a complete collapse in the confidence of the leadership of the school. Despite pupils, parents and teachers making a protest, both the Governors and Local Education Authority have failed to intervene. An academy should be welcomed, only because they will hopefully bring in a new leadership that will set about raising staff morale and aim to instil a pride for the school amongst pupils, parents and the community.

  6. “Evidence presented here suggests that Academy schools have raised the average quality of their intake by lowering their admissions of weaker attaining students.”
    Are England’s Academies More Inclusive or More ‘Exclusive’? The Impact of Institutional Change on the Pupil Profile of Schools
    Joan Wilson, May 2011 LSE, CEE Publications.
    Which explains how “success” (if any) is achieved.

  7. martin holister

    This already happens as we speak regardless of academy status.

    What happens with the league tables, is that if you have a student who wants to take a subject for gcse who is predicted to get below a grade C, that student is persuaded to take another subject where their grade would be better so as not to Impact on the schools results.

    This does not help the student only the false reputation of the school. This happened to me as I was predicted to get a D in geography GCSE and was persuaded to take history instead as I was predicted to get a C, a subject I did not want to do as I did not like it.

    Instead of trying to teach they opted to rearrange the subjects to fit the results they wanted and research I have conducted over the years confirms this goes on regularly.

  8. I genuinely wish the debate between Ben and Martin was relevant – they are at least trying to discuss the relative merits of academies in educational terms and ask how they impact on the quality of education the community’s children receive.
    Unfortunately this article might suggest that the issues are political rather than educational:

    The plight of the secondary school is, however, very much an educational matter. The failure of leadership is seriously harming the life chances of our children. The academy is needed to remove the current school leader and governors and replace them with people better able to improve the school from the dire state it currently finds itself in.

  9. Excellent article. Its good to live in a democracy!

  10. martin holister

    The unfortunate facts are education has always and will always revolve around political agenda. Whether it be from the government or from teachers and their unions.

    It is unfortunate that the kids are always the ones to lose out.

  11. I couldn’t agree more. Apparently the most successful education system is Finland. They pay the teachers good money then leave them to get on with it!

  12. You surprise me Ben Ball, a teacher with your experience and knowledge using and glorifying a word that is nothing more than a defined theory and until people start to educate themselves instead of relying on a Government led by liars thieves and crooks nothing will change for the better and “democracy” will remain that defined theory when it should be a visual reality. The UK is nothing more than a slave Country for Richer parts of Europe hence why Finland has a successful Education system as opposed to the shytstem we have.

  13. lisa Da-Costa

    I would suggest you research the word “Democracy” before claiming we live in one

  14. Hi Lisa and Anon, I was being sarcastic, I find the term “consultation” is receiving the same abuse lately.