Cyril Jackson Primary School is a highly successful school that serves its pupils, families and community exceptionally well.

Over the last couple of years the governors of CJPS have been exploring the benefits, advantages or disadvantages of converting to an academy.

They are not alone. This is an issue that schools up and down the country have been thinking about - over a third of Primary Schools and three quarters of Secondary Schools are now academies. Many of these academies are part of, or have formed, a Multi Academy Trust with other academies.  This enables them to work in close partnership, learning from and supporting each other, and sharing resources to enable them to make the most from their budgets.

Academy Order

About the Consultation

Consultation Outcome Report - December 2020

Academy Conversion Consultation

Consultation Response Form

Presentation - Consultation with Parents and Carers

Frequently Asked Questions

What things would not change if CJPS became an Academy?

There will be very little that will change in the day to day running of the school. The leadership team at Cyril Jackson will continue to lead and drive forward the improvements at the school.

There will be no immediate or significant changes in our curriculum delivery. As you are aware, any changes we do make are driven in response to the needs of pupils. The act of becoming an academy will not require us to make any changes.

There will still be governors for the school. Trustees will delegate governance functions down to the local level of the Academy and therefore operate Local Governing Bodies. There will also still be elected parents on the local governing body. We intend to ensure a high level of continuity in our governance during the conversion period.

Academies have a range of explicit freedoms not available to local authority schools including setting the pay and conditions of staff and setting their own term dates. However, the governors of the school and UST are committed to adhering to national agreements on pay and conditions and have no plans to alter term dates once the school has become an academy.

The employment rights of all current members of staff will be protected by TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) Regulations. This means that the staff will transfer to the UST under the same terms and conditions of employment they enjoy now. Pension rights and continuity of service record will be preserved. UST has adopted the same pay scales and terms and conditions as those negotiated nationally and locally for teaching and support staff.

The school will be subject to the exact same Ofsted inspection framework as now.

What is an academy?

Academies are state-funded, non-fee-paying schools in England. They operate in accordance with their funding agreements with the Secretary of State, and are independent of local authorities (LAs). Academies have more freedoms than those schools under local authority control. When a school becomes an Academy the employees of the school transfer over to the new Trust or Sponsor. The Academy is governed by a Charitable Trust; however, it is still led by the Headteacher and (in the case of UST) a Local Governing Body.

What is a multi-academy trust or MAT?

Multi-academy trusts, or MATs, usually run more than one academy. MATs themselves are single legal entities, with one set of trustees. Their member schools operate under a single governance structure. A handful of MATs are very large, with 40 or more schools; most MATs are much smaller than this, having between 1 and 10 schools.

Will the admissions policy change when the school becomes an Academy?

No, all Academies are required to adopt clear and fair admission arrangements in line with admissions law and the School Admissions Code. Primary admissions for Cyril Jackson are currently co-ordinated by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and this will continue.

Does the school have to change its name and uniform?

No, there is no need for a school to change its name. Cyril Jackson will be keeping the same uniform, signage and school badge.

If my child has SEN needs and is applying for a EHCP will it be harder or more complicated to get a place through the academy as opposed to how the process works now through Tower Hamlets?

No, the process for applying for an Education Health Care Plan remains the same in both an academy and local authority maintained school.

If a child receives an Education Health Care Plan, the process for applying for a place at Cyril Jackson also remains the same as is now. Tower Hamlets will continue to manage our admissions for all children.

Who owns academy land and buildings? Can property or land be sold off?

Tower Hamlets would lease the land to UST for 125 years. There are controls on the disposal of academy (and maintained school) publicly funded land. The Secretary of State’s permission is required for the disposal of publicly-funded school land.

What are the safeguards for vulnerable pupils?

Under the terms of the Funding Agreement, the contract between the Academy Trust and the Secretary of State, an Academy has to act in exactly the same way as a maintained school in relation to Special Educational Needs, behaviour and exclusions.

Could there be cuts to academy funding in the future?

We know that the Government is planning to change how schools are funded through the National Funding Formula and that this may have a negative impact on schools in London. These changes, however, will apply to academies and local authority schools equally.

The Trust and the local governing board will remain responsible for setting a balanced budget each year. By being part of a MAT, however, the school may be able to make savings on some of the goods and services it buys to run the schools.

What about links with the local authority?

The change of status brings greater independence from the local authority but we will continue to work in partnership with the local authority and may continue to buy services from them. UST is a unique Trust and representatives from the Local Authority sit on their Trust Board. UST are proud of this relationship.

What support is available to academies if they get into financial difficulty?

Academies, like all schools, are expected to maintain strict budgetary controls and are required by their funding agreement to balance their budgets. The Academy receives an ongoing Grant (‘General Annual Grant’) which covers the running costs of the school. If a deficit occurs or appears likely, the Education & Skills Funding agency (ESFA), will intervene. It will provide advice and support to the Academy to find an appropriate solution to bring costs and income back into balance, usually in the form of a restructuring plan, and will give additional contingency funding if absolutely necessary.

What input do parents have as part of the consultation / decision making process?

This consultation forms part of the overall consultation process. Your views, alongside those of other stakeholders, will be considered by Governors as part of the decision making process. The Governors will, however, make the final decision on whether to convert to academy status once they have considered any responses to the consultation and are satisfied that all of the legal processes required to convert have been completed satisfactorily.

Consultation Meeting Minutes and Notes