Story: Gaby Spinks
The North East Sheffield Community Assembly held a public meeting to debate the issues around academies at Longley College on 12th July.
The meeting was chaired by Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families and there were speakers from the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and the Anti-Academies Alliance.
Sonia Sharp, the Council’s education chief listed some of the ‘asks’ that they are asking all schools to sign up to if they are considering becoming academies.
• To consult all stakeholders
• To adhere to key policies around admissions, special needs, inclusion etc and for schools to be for community use
• To be democratically accountable
• To have transparency around funding
A lot of questions were asked of the panel about accountability and democracy:
What would happen if an academy was declared in financial trouble or whose educational standards were slipping?
Who could parents could turn to if they had issues with an academy? Sonia Sharp responded by saying that, if an academy did run into problems, the Local Authority would try to intervene.