In a speciao feature for the Advertiser, the head of Burscough Priory looks at academy status
AS a headteacher of a Lancashire local authority school, I am bemused and surprised by our Education Secretary, Michael Gove, who stated a few days ago that Academies “were the best way to drive school improvement” (BBC News, November 23).
I disagree and have the evidence to prove my case.
Having recently transferred from one of the leading academy chains in the country, led by Michael Wilshaw, as Leader of Education for ARK Academies, before he moved into post as the leader of Ofsted, I know the inside of how academies work.
I defy anyone to say that an LEA school cannot be every bit as successful.
Our Ofsted report and the progress Burscough Priory has made in the last year proves that the tools that make academies successful are what accelerate progress.
Not the title they hold.
Since transferring from London to Lancashire, I have found my colleagues from the LEA every bit as successful and ambitious for change.
They have given me every freedom to “implement considerable change in a short space of time” and start my school’s rapid ascent towards “outstanding” across every category.
My staff team is “choosing to work hard and beyond what is normally expected” because “the buzz and excitement among students and staff are refreshing”.
Why are academies better?
Name me one thing they can do that we can’t?
My staff work longer hours and are totally committed towards driving forward a “relentless striving for excellence” as we implement “rapid all-round improvement” (Ofsted, October, 2012).
Therefore, stop criticising my authority and maybe redirect that criticism towards constructive action in supporting those academies elsewhere which aren’t quite getting it right.
Leave us to get on with the good work of driving our excellence with effective aspiring authority support.