Academies sink into further difficulty

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The E-Act academy chain was stripped of 10 academies this week after it was given a “financial notice to improve” by the DfE's Education Funding Agency last year.

The reorganisation appears to have been triggered by several of the schools receiving damning reports about performance following Ofsted inspections.

E-Act will remain in control of the further 24 academies while Department for Education (DfE) officials work to find different sponsors for the 10 schools affected.

Education secretary Michael Gove said...

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About Robert Lovell

Business and finance journalist


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    By evely
    27th Feb 2014 12:32

    educational time bomb

    The issues with the academy system, monitoring, standards and SEN is just the tip of the iceberg.     

    We have an educational system that a person with no teaching qualifications can teach a class room of children, what was once a profession is now just a job. All the many teachers I know are getting out as soon as they can, in just a few years all the experience particularly at the top will have gone.

    There are fundamental flaws in the current system and is degrading further as other 'ideas' are rolled out with out due consideration of there impact. Money for SEN is not ring fenced so funds for an individual child does not have to be spent by the school on that child. There is no or minimal auditing of how the funds are spent and no teeth for those who are tasked with trying.

    Can one imagine running a business in the same way, getting a tax allowance for one item but in fact spending it on another?  

    Then you have the personal connections (Gove with a key academy sponsor)  in other scenarios such a relationship could be deemed inappropriate. 

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    By vstrad
    27th Feb 2014 13:43

    You'd be wrong ...

    ... to imagine that financial irregularities are confined to academies. My local bog-standard comprehensive was found to have a £450k deficit in 2007. The LEA bailed it out, staff were made redundant, changes were made so that the head could promise "this will never happen again", ya-di-ya-di-ya.  

    In 2011 it was discovered that the school now had a £850k deficit. The head left ...

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    28th Feb 2014 14:32

    Any business or Organisation can be badly run, it's refreshing to see though that something is being sown about it. I look forward to my local council receiving the same action.......if only!

    @evely - my partner is an artist and used to go into schools as a freelancer to teach children specific skills and techniques, the schools no longer allow this as she doesn't have a formal teaching qualification, end result.......the children no longer learn those skills. So it's not always the same as you mention.

    We also have many teaching friends, they generally feel under pressure more than they used to but won't be leaving the profession, not whilst they continue to receive the holidays that they do and the pension that they will be entitled to. I personally wouldn't/couldn't do the job, but I guess they wouldn't be an accountant either.

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    By akeyne
    28th Feb 2014 17:36

    Some of these academies are run by scam artists...
    Ripping off the funds to line their own pockets but from this article it seems as though academies that are a part of large groups are under scrutiny which I assumed would be governed a lot better than stand-alone academies which really need monitoring and scrutinising.

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