PUBLIC QUESTION NO. 5
LONDON BOROUGH OF LEWISHAM
1 MARCH 2011
Question asked by: Ms L Galloway
Member to reply: Councillor Klier
Given that Tidemill is an outstanding school with an excellent history of parental and community involvement. How can the council ensure that the school undergoes a proper and full consultation with an equality impact assessment when the governors consider afresh whether to make a new application to the Department for Education?
Under the new Government’s legislation, applying for Academy status is a matter for schools themselves, not the Local Authority. However, we will always be available to advise schools on process. The letter of 15th November 2010 from the Executive Director for Children and Young People to the Chair of Governors of Tidemill School formed the Local Authority’s response to the Tidemill governors’ consultation. The response noted that “It is for governors to be satisfied with the quality of consultations to date and that the school’s community feels sufficiently consulted”. This remains the Local Authority’s position in relation to any subsequent consultation if Tidemill should decide to reapply for Academy status and enter into consultation on that new application. It is also for the governors to be assured that they have complied with the need to complete an Equalities Impact Assessment.
The Department for Education guidance to schools wishing to convert to Academy status makes it clear that they are required by the Academies Act 2010 to carry out a consultation on the conversion process with appropriate stakeholders before entering into a Funding Agreement with Secretary of State.
There is no requirement of a school to consult with its Local Authority. The guidance simply states that “You may wish to contact your local authority to notify them of your registration of interest in becoming an Academy.”