Our girl's school is being forced into an academy. They are going by Ofsted reports from 2005 to 2009 when the school was doing really badly. There has been a new head teacher there since 2008 and he has turned the school around. In 2010 the school was scored as a Good school, with the nursery as Outstanding.
An outstanding school is allowed to become an academy in it's own right, still run by it's current governing board. If it is forced into an academy then then an outside source is brought in to run the school.
It's difficult to get out of academy status because the Education Secretary Michael Grove is wanting all schools, primary and secondary to become academies. Some are trying to fight it, many are losing.
Our school is a good school and the staff are amazing, it's better now than it has ever been (and I know having used the school for the last 19 years) Losing it's current status and being taken over by an outsider probably will have a real detrimental effect on the school.
I could go on about all the bad things about academies but I won't, not here. I just wanted to express my worries about what this means for Lucy.
At nursery it was picked up that Lucy was different from the other children and her teacher gave her extra help to fit in, this continued through to reception class. Then in year one Lucy's teacher called me in for a meeting and suggested that Lucy might be autistic. I already knew, but although I wasn't trying to bury my head in the sand, or deny it I just wanted it to be picked up by someone else so I could be sure. This was the start of Lucy's assessment and during the next six months she received a diagnosis of high functioning autism.
Her teacher has been fantastic and so has the school SENCO. Lucy's problems are different to other kids with special needs, it is so hard to understand what she actually needs but working together she now has a great plan in force at the school which has improved her happiness both there and at home. She also gets extra help in school from outside sources, for example physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
An academy school can still provide all these resources if they wish. They will be readily available for them that want to pay for them. Of course, who knows if they will pay for them? If an outsider does come in are they going to be concerned about Lucy's needs? Perhaps they will think she will be better off in a special school? (This is what happened to my eldest son when his school couldn't implement the correct help for him)
At the moment my worries are heavy on my heart. I do not want the school to change, it's great just as it is.
I will be praying that the outcome is a good one.