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Academy? - or not

14/09/16

 

How much difference has academisation really made? Lyn shares her experiences with academies in comparison to schools under a local authority.

Another year of supply teaching over. (Funny how teachers measure years from September to July, not January to December). Was it different from the preceding years? Not really. I went to some new schools and I asked those nice people at Protocol to send me back to some of them, begged them never to send me back to others. 'Twas ever thus. However, what does strike me when I look back on all those assignments is that I would be hard pushed to recall in most cases which of all the schools I worked in were academies.

There has been a lot in the educational press in recent months about 'academisation' and the benefits that it does or does not bring. It appears that academies make up some of the best and some of the worst educational providers in the country so it is not surprising that a supply teacher who turns up to cover in the morning and is more concerned to find a parking place than to read the fancy noticeboard by the gate may spend the day unaware of the school's status. The expectations of the students, the support offered by colleagues, the physical environment are not necessarily indicative of either a local authority school or an academy. I originally thought that with conversion came the funding to create a modern physical environment with decent furniture, lots of computers, pleasant public areas until I went to an academy where I found myself teaching in an isolated 1970's portacabin where the children just ran in and out at will and hid. Conversely I was reluctant to go to a school where I had worked unhappily many years ago but was persuaded by those nice people at Protocol who said that academisation had transformed the place. They were absolutely right.

So whatever the politics involved it makes no difference to us supply teachers. A good school to work in is a good school to work in whoever runs it.


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