Greenwich Council

Issue - meetings.

The John Roan School Conversion to Academy Status

Meeting: 12/06/2019 - Cabinet (Item 7)

7 The John Roan School Conversion to Academy Status pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To note the receipt of the Academy Order in respect of The John Roan School and the selection of United Learning as the academy sponsor; to delegate to the Director of Children’s Services the overall management of the conversion process; to delegate to the Director of Finance the authority to complete the formal agreements for the transfer of staff under TUPE arrangements and the authority to negotiate and agree the terms of the Commercial Transfer Agreement and any other legal documentation; and, to agree the lease of the Westcombe Park site to the trust at peppercorn rent and to delegate to the Director of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skillsthe authority to negotiate the detailed terms of the lease and any other property documentation

Additional documents:

Decision:

Noted the receipt of the Academy Order in respect of The John Roan School (TJR) dated 12 June 2018 and the selection of United Learning (ULT) as the academy sponsor by the Secretary of State for Education (SoS).  Notwithstanding the clear policy of Full Council agreed on 31 October 2018 to resist further academisation, the Council is required, by law, to take reasonable steps to facilitate the academy conversion process.

 

Delegated to the Director of Children’s Services working in liaison with the Cabinet member for Children’s Services and Schools the overall management and timing of the conversion process working with all relevant parties.

 

Delegated to the Director of Finance, the authority to complete the formal agreements for the transfer of staff under TUPE arrangements as detailed in section 5.4 of this report.

 

Delegated to the Director of Finance, in consultation with the Director of Children’s Services and the Director of Legal Services, the authority to negotiate and agree the terms of the Commercial Transfer Agreement (CTA) and any other legal documentation required to protect the Council’s investment in the Building Schools for the Future programme (BSF) following the conversion as set out in sections 4.7 and 5.6 of this report, respectively.

 

Agreed to grant the lease of the TJR Westcombe Park site (edged in red on the plan in Appendix A) to ULT for a term of 125 years at peppercorn rent, in accordance with the relevant standard documentation produced by the Department for Education (DFE), together with any other property documentation which the Council would need to enter into to facilitate the academy conversion process, and delegate to the Director of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills (DRES) in consultation with the Director of Children’s Services, the authority to negotiate the detailed terms of the lease and any other property documentation.

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

The report was presented by the Director of Legal Services and the Senior Assistant Director Inclusion, Learning and Achievement (Children's Services).

 

In addressing the meeting, the Director of Legal Services stated the following:

 

·        Full Council on 31 October 2018 resolved to resist further academisation, to promote the local authority framework and Greenwich Direct services to schools and to further develop the Greenwich family of schools working with existing academies to the benefit of all our children.

 

·        Notwithstanding this clear political policy, the Council has a legal duty under section 5B of the Academies Act 2010 to take all reasonable steps to facilitate the conversion of the school into an academy when an Academy Order has been made by the Secretary of State following an inadequate Ofsted judgment.

 

·        Just to be clear, Cabinet is not being asked this evening to agree the academisation.  It is the Secretary of State for Education who makes the Academy Order and not the Council.  This report is seeking delegated authority to enable officers to take the necessary steps to facilitate the conversion of the John Roan School to academy status as required by law.  If Cabinet wished to refuse to delegate the necessary authority to officers, it would need compelling reasons to do so in order to avoid being in breach of the legal duty to facilitate conversion. 

 

·        The Assistant Director will now highlight the steps that has been taken by the Council to support John Roan since the Academy Order was made in June 2018.

 

In addressing the meeting, the Senior Assistant Director Inclusion, Learning and Achievement (Children's Services) stated the following:

 

·        The Council has written to the Deputy General Secretary of the NEU stating that as a local authority, we are in support of union activity, and that we are opposed to the forced academisation of schools.  We have had meetings with the Regional Schools Commissioners’ Office asking for the Council to be given time to support the school to improve without the threat of academisation.

 

·        We have provided substantial support to The John Roan – this has included support for the Head and other senior managers, financial support (including funding building improvement works), deployment of highly experienced school improvement officers to focus on teaching and learning, providing behaviour support and coaching for staff, and additional educational psychology and SENCO support.

 

·        It was noted in the Ofsted monitoring visit letter that “Leaders (at The John Roan) have drawn effectively on external support, including from the Local Authority, to address the areas for improvement from the previous inspection.  This includes leadership development and intervention work with pupils”.

 

·        Discussions have been had with the RSC and questions raised in Parliament by one of our MPs questioning the process and stating our opposition to forced academisation.  We recognise that the accountability of the school shifts once it becomes an academy and clearly our preferred way forward is for all of our schools to be accountable to the local community and local democratic  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7


Meeting: 14/11/2018 - Cabinet (Item 13)

13 The John Roan School Conversion to Academy Status pdf icon PDF 153 KB

This Item has been deferred.

Additional documents:

Decision:

This item was deferred.

 

 

 

Minutes:

This item was deferred.