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Thistley Hough High School became Thistley Hough Academy in September 2013.  So what does this mean?

The information below is a summary taken from the Department for Education website.  The full address of the website can be found at the end of this page under Sources.

What is an Academy?

Academies are publicly-funded independent schools that provide a first-class education.

What’s different about academies?

Freedoms

Academies benefit from greater freedoms to innovate and raise standards. These include:

  • freedom from local authority control;
  • the ability to set their own pay and conditions for staff;
  • freedoms around the delivery of the curriculum; and
  • the ability to change the lengths of terms and school days.

Sponsors
Some academies, generally those set up to replace underperforming schools, will have a sponsor. Sponsors come from a wide range of backgrounds including successful schools, businesses, universities, charities and faith bodies. Sponsors are held accountable for the 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. The sponsor’s vision and leadership are vital to each project.

CET_Logo_White_BG_AWThistley Hough Academy is a sponsored academy.  Thistley Hough is sponsored by the Creative Education Trust (“CET”).

The Creative Education Trust is a charity and social enterprise set up in 2011 with support from leaders in the creative industries, innovation-based businesses and education. As part of CET our mission is to improve standards of education and skills for children and young people across the UK, equipping them to be successful adults in the competitive, globalised world of the future. The creative, problem-solving, innovation and making skills used in design, engineering, high-tech manufacturing and architecture are at the heart of our approach to learning because they are at the heart of the UK economy of the future.

We are delivering our mission through exciting innovations in curriculum, teaching and learning which are driving educational improvement and developing students with modern employable skills in our growing number of primary and secondary academies across England. Our ambition is to be among the very best providers of publicly-funded education in the country.

We are achieving our aims through:

  • Educational rigour
  • Organisational effectiveness
  • Financial efficiency
  • Partnership and respect for local identity
  • Respect for autonomous leadership
  • Quality not quantity
  • Promoting practical creativity

Funding

Academies receive the same level of per-pupil funding as they would receive from the local authority as a maintained school, plus additions to cover the services that are no longer provided for them by the local authority. However, academies have greater 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.

Governance

Thistley Hough Academy is governed by CET’s governance structure.

CET is governed by a Board of Directors (the “Board”). The directors are referred to as Trustees.  The Trustees have set up a Local Governing Body (“LGB”) for each academy that is run by the Trust. Each LGB is a sub-committee of the Board. As such, each LGB helps Trustees to exercise their statutory governance functions in respect of each individual academy within the Trust. The LGB is therefore the ‘eyes and ears’ of the Trustees in matters of governance. The LGB’s prime function is to monitor, encourage and challenge the educational performance and management of the Academy.  To foster good bilateral relationships between the Trustees and the LGBs, a number of LGB Chairs will be members of the Board.

… and what’s 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.

Collaboration

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.

All schools that are performing well and applying for academy status are expected to work with other schools to raise standards. Collaboration and partnership are now embedded in the school system, and this is also the case for academies.

Selection

Schools which already select some or all of their pupils will be able to continue to do so if they become academies, but schools becoming academies cannot decide to become newly selective schools.

Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (2000) applies to academies as it does to maintained schools.

Sources:

Department for Education:
www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/typesofschools/academies/b00205692/whatisanacademy

CET
www.creativeeducationtrust.org.uk