The merry-go-round of academy status is also interesting.
I know of several schools that did not start out as academies. Prior to this, thier rating was 'outstanding'. Then OFTSED walked in and said "you should be an academy, oh, by the way, you're now only a 'good' school, for arbitrary reasons".
Then, as if by magic, once the school became an academy, and changing nothing regarding it's day-to-day operations, they'd get thier 'outstanding' classification back.
Instant improvement to a school be denoting it while it isn't an academy, and then restoring the top line status when it gets to be one.
Instant stats improvement. Academy status amazingly turn schools around.
Even Michael Wilshaw had to be ousted from OFSTED so this amazing turnaround of schools that were outstanding anyway, could be regraded to outstanding again, not because they had actually improved, but because they met the currently fashionable agenda of academies.
The above is a very valid observation, pretty much spot on.
one caveat though that I think gives academies the edge, they don't have to employ qualified teachers, they have the choice of recruiting from anywhere, if it's done right you can harness the talent of seasoned professionals and it has proven very effective.
Most common in the teaching of the arts subjects with actors teaching Drama and Musicians teaching music, but it works just as well when applied to other subjects, I know of an academy employing a genetic statistician to teach maths ( he worked on dolly the sheep) an ex pro athelete to teach PE and a published author teaching english, Needless to say those students are getting an education far more suited to ensuring they can use what they learn in the real world rather than just for ticking boxes and passing exams.
all teachers are still subject to CRB checks and will receive support in the classroom from a TA or another teacher to advise or facilitate the pastoral care but from what I have seen on multiple ocassions it works!
If we are to turn around our failing education system ( and it is failing , don't believe the hype!) we need a more creative solution to filling the teaching positions than going through vast numbers of NQT's who don't stay in the profession due to poor pay and job stress and who are in some cases only four years older than the oldest students they are teaching.
They are lacking in life experience, maturity and have been trained by the very failing system they are trying to sustain which predictably has led to a year on year falling of standards that has been masked by making exams easier ...Trust me they are, I have seen students pass A level music with little or no ability to play and unable to read music. I have then had those very students in my lectures at college/uni a year later and no wiser studying for a Music teaching degree...!
We have gone from having one of the finest education systems in the world to languishing in mid table mediocrity, and if I am entirely honest based on what I have seen we are lucky to be that high up!
None of this changes the basic truth of education though, the better the teacher , the more success the student will enjoy, add this to a caring and supportive parent and you have a recipe for a good education, to those of you who are parents I will simply say don't underestimate the importance of your presence in your childs schooling.
roll your sleeves up and get in there!