Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Review Panel - The Council's relationship with Academies
Monday, 17th September, 2018 5.00 pm

Venue: Room 206, Town Hall. View directions

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors and officers to declare any interests which they have in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

Minutes:

Councillors and officers were invited to declare any interests they had in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

 

No declarations of interest were made.

 

2.

Scrutiny Review Panel Procedure Rules pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To approve the Scrutiny Review Panel Procedure Rules.

Minutes:

A representative of the Head of Legal and Governance submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) requesting the Review Panel to adopt the Scrutiny Review Panel Procedure Rules for the purpose of undertaking the review.

 

RESOLVED – That the Scrutiny Review Panel Procedure Rules be adopted for the purpose of undertaking the review.

3.

Introductory Presentation and Draft Scope pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To consider a report of the Director for Education.

 

The report outlines and makes comments on a number of issues relating to the interactions that the Council has with Academies in the Borough.

 

Following consideration of the report, the Review Panel is invited to scope the review and provide officers with clarification on issues that they wish to consider as part of the review.

 

Officer Contact: Alan Beswick on Tel: 474 3918 or email: alan.beswick@stockport.gov.uk

Minutes:

The Director for Education submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) providing information in respect to the interactions that the Council has with Academies.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:-

·         The introduction of academies (including free schools, university technical colleges (UTCs) and studio schools) has been one of the most significant changes to the English education system of the last several decades. Any school is able to apply for academy designation.

·         In September 2014 eight Regional School Commissioners (RSCs) were appointed with responsibility to approve academy conversions in their region and to intervene in underperforming academies.

·         Following the Education and Adoption Act receiving Royal Assent, the DfE set out its vision that every school should be an academy or be in the process of academy conversion by 2020.

·         It was noted that following resistance in Parliament, in October 2016 plans for the Education for All Bill which would have introduced the legislation necessary to force area-wide conversion were dropped. National policy remains, stating the ambition that all schools will eventually become academies.

·         Headteachers and governors of Stockport schools echoed the resistance to the enforced academisation of all schools which was proposed and then revoked in 2016. Primary headteachers, in particular, articulated a determined wish to remain part of the LA because they valued the robust challenge which they received.

·         Only 13 per cent of the boroughs primary and secondary schools combined were academies. There are eight primary academies and five secondary academies.

·         Whatever a school’s designation any safeguarding concerns are immediately of concern to the LA and it has a statutory duty to ensure that those concerns are dealt with effectively.

·         The local authority has a statutory duty to ensure that there are sufficient school places but the hands of local authorities are also tied in building new schools, which have to be opened as academies, with all the final decisions about proposals and sponsors resting with the Secretary of State for Education.

 

The Director for Education answered questions in relation to the report. The Review Panel determined that they wish to hold three further themed meetings during the course of the review to explore the following topics:-

 

·         Mental Wellbeing and Curriculum provision

·         Special Educational Needs

·         Admissions/Exclusions & School Organisation

 

RESOLVED – That the Director for Education and the Head of Legal and Governance be requested to make arrangement for three further meetings of the Review Panel to consider further the issues identified.

4.

Dates of Future Meetings

Future meetings of the Review Panel will be held as follows:-

 

·         Monday 15 October 2018 at 5pm

·         Monday 26 November 2018 at 5pm

·         Tuesday 18 December 2018 at 5pm

·         Monday 4 February 2018 at 5pm

 

 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That meeting of the Scrutiny Review Panel be held on the following dates:-

 

·         Monday 15 October 2018 at 5.00pm

·         Monday 26 November 2018 at 5.00pm

·         Tuesday 18 December 2018 at 5.00pm

·         Monday 4 February 2018 at 5.00pm