Academy Status

For some time now, the governors of Frieth CEC Primary School have been considering converting the school to an Academy. Academies are state schools where the teachers and governors have more choice about the way they are run. An academy is directly accountable to the Department for Education. They are however, still inspected by Ofsted.

Traditional state-funded schools will get a proportion of funding given to the local authority, and as it’s technically the local authority’s money, will be told how and when to spend it. Academies receive their money directly from central government rather than it being filtered through the local council. This means they have more freedom to spend their money in the way they want. Schools which are academies can prioritise their spending however they want. Academies also have the ability to set their own pay and conditions for staff, which can be useful for recruiting and retaining a high quality workforce.

Schools which are academies also have certain freedoms with their curriculum. Rather than having the follow the National Curriculum, academies have the flexibility to adapt their learning programmes to suit their students’ needs. The DfE have reported that most academies do change their curriculum and that many believe that the changes have improved attainment. The freedom to adjust the curriculum gives schools the opportunity to develop unique curriculums designed to meet the particular needs of the children in the school.

But, as Spider-Man says, with great power comes great responsibility. The governors are aware what an important decision this is and so have set aside time for consultations and meetings with various academy trusts, ensuring that any move made is right for our school. They have identified the ODBST (Oxfordshire Diocese Buckingham Schools Trust) as a good match for our school. Further information about the trust can be found on the pages which follow.