Academies are publicly-funded independent schools that aim to provide a first-class education
What’s different about academies?
Academies benefit from greater freedoms to innovate and raise standards. These include:
- freedom from local authority control;
- freedoms around the delivery of the curriculum; and
- the ability to change the lengths of terms and school days.
Sponsored and Converter Academies
Sponsored academies are generally those set up to replace underperforming schools. Sponsors are held accountable for improving the performance of their schools. They do this by challenging traditional thinking on how schools are run and what they should be like for students. They seek to make a complete break with cultures of low aspiration and achievement.
Milton Keynes Education Trust is accredited by the Department for Education (DfE) to sponsor both primary and secondary schools
Converter academies are schools that are performing well that choose to become academies.
Converter academies can either become standalone academies or choose to join a multi academy trust.
Both converter and sponsored academies are part of Milton Keynes Academy Trust.
Academies receive the same level of per-pupil funding as they would receive from the local authority as a maintained school, plus an additional grant to cover the services that are no longer provided by the local authority. For 2013-14 this grant has been set at £150 per pupil, excluding Post-16 students. In 2014-15 the grant will be reduced to £140 per pupil. Academies have freedom over how they use their budgets to best benefit their students.
Academies receive their funding directly from the Education Funding Agency (EFA) rather than from local authorities.
The principles of governance are the same in academies as in maintained schools, but the Board of Directors has greater autonomy. Academies are required to have at least two parent governors.
Milton Keynes Education Trust is a Multi Academy Trust (MAT). The Board of Directors has responsibility for all the schools in the Trust, but each school has a Local Board of Governors.
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Things that are the same
Admissions, special educational needs and exclusions
Academies are required to follow the law and guidance on admissions, special educational needs and exclusions as if they were maintained schools.
Academies have to ensure that the school will be at the heart of its community, collaborating and sharing facilities and expertise with other schools and the wider community.
Freedom of information
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (2000) applies to academies as it does to maintained schools.