Deptford says no to Tidemill becoming an academy

Questions to school for possible conversion from Leila Galloway March 2011

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Questions for possible conversion from Leila Galloway: more detailed questions to follow at a later date.

  1. What are the dates of the full governor meetings for this year?
  2. Why does the information given in the foyer not have an accurate list of governor’s names?
  3. On the 21st of January 2011 a letter from Mark Elms and Keith Geary indicated to parents that the school would be withdrawing from it’s application to become an academy. A further letter was sent to parents on the 18th of February 2011 saying that the issue would be considered afresh in a governors meeting scheduled for the 10th of March. What was decided at this meeting? When will the minutes be made public?
  4. The school has said that there is a ‘legal challenge’ to its application and that they will be considering the implications of that challenge but has said nothing about their reason for withdrawal. The school has so far released no information as to the content of the legal challenge. Why did the governors withdraw?
  5. Will the school complete an Equalities Impact Assessment?
  6. Many parents did not receive the letter on the 18th of March in their book bag, how can the school ensure that all parents know about this? Why did the school not use the text system to inform parents?
  7. The only points of contact to gain feedback from the parents are (Thursday 24th, 1hour and Saturday 26th, 2 hours). Why did the school not hold a meeting?
  8. On the 18th March eight documents were made available on the schools website. One document on “the analysis of financial issues” was 25 pages long. Given that many parents speak English as a second language, why were these documents not summarized or a presentation given?
  9. Why where parents not given longer than six days to digest the information before they responded?
  10. The school has asked for our views by mid-day on Friday 1 April 2011. What date is set for the meeting for the governors to proceed? And does this mean that we are now under a consultation or will the school begin the consultation after that meeting?
  11. Considering the move to a community building. Why does the school not want to consult the community?
  12. The School has yet to present a detailed plan that sets out how the Academy status will actually improve the education for our children. Where is this document and when do you intend to make it public? This is not the current school improvement plan, but one that specifically addresses the benefits in detail that Academy status will bring within the classroom?
  13. In the “Briefing Paper on Equalities” under the heading consultation it says, “The objection previously made was focused on the input provided from parents via the school rather than in response to the governors’ formal consultation.” Please could you substantiate this claim?
  14. Also under the heading consultation it mentions Staff, SEN, Gender and Ethnicity but no detailed statistics are given. When will this information be made available?
  15. The estimated financial gain for the school contained in the report is based on the funding figures and methodology for 2010-11. When will the school produce figures for 2011-12?
  16. How do we know the school will be better funded when we don’t know details of the future academy funding changes planned by the Government?
  17. How can the school ensure that it is able to access support services of a similar quality to those provided by the local authority, given that the private market for such services is undeveloped?
  18. How can the school be sure that, in an undeveloped market with few providers locally, we won’t be tied in to a poor deal with one provider?
  19. How long will any fixed price contracts with a service supplier last and what guarantee will there be against future price rises after any loss-leading period is over?
  20. How can the school make any assumptions about future funding as an academy when changes to the LACSEG mechanism are imminent but unspecified?
  21. Is there a business plan that has been put together by the head and governing body, to show how the finances will be affected in the short, medium and long term?
  22. How will the DfE or YPLA be able to give the school expert advice when they need it, given that such advice should be based on local knowledge, which those organisations do not have?
  23. With the DfE administrative budget being cut by a third, how can the school be sure of the level of support we will need when that support will be provided centrally instead of through the local authority?
  24. Will you, in the interests of openness and transparency, publicly publish your Governing Body minutes and all documentation on your consideration of and decision regarding academy status?
    • Preeti Tyagi
      9:51 am on April 5th, 2011 1

      Hello Leila and others,

      As a prospective parent to Tide mill, the first question I would ask is how much of this extra funding that will be gained through making the school an Academy will go into improving services and support to the pupils. I would like to see the detailed list and plan of these extra support, as my main concern is what an indivisual child will get out of this?

      Many thanks,


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