Why an Academy?
As you know, Admiral Lord Nelson School is proposing to change its Governance status from Community School to Academy.
The Governors and the Senior Leadership Team are all agreed that choosing to be what is called a “Converter Academy” is the best way to keep the school on it trajectory towards excellence and to provide the best education and opportunities for our young people.
Converter Academies are completely independent from both the Local Authority and any form of sponsor or chain of other academies. They are funded directly from Central Government and so have more choice on where and how to spend their money. They also have greater freedom on what the curriculum should look like.
We are convinced that such autonomy will give us greater control over achieving our objectives – in other words Daring to Dream even bigger dreams, Aiming to Achieve even more!
We are also proposing, at the same time, to become affiliated with the Cooperative Schools Network.
Cooperative schools all must have:
- a strongly values-driven ethos
- a democrative governance model with all “stakeholders” represented (staff, parents, students and community)
- useful links with hundreds of other Cooperative schools all over the country and further afield and a commitment to collaborate with those schools when asked.
We believe this foundation of values, such as self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, co-operation and collaboration is very much what ALNS stands for and being associated with a larger organisation which shares those values will bring greater strength to our future development and identity.
The Governors of ALNS wish to hear the views of as many people as possible on their proposals so that they can make the best informed decision to take the school forward.
The “formal consultation” period will run throughout November 2013 and will involve consultation meetings with parents, staff, students and other members of the community.
However, we are keen to hear concerns or answer questions at any time, so we a launching a “Frequently Asked Questions” section in this part of the website.
You can ask questions by filling in our web form (click here to open) and we shall try to answer them as quickly as possible.
To start the ball rolling Governors have put together the most common questions they have been asked so far.
Do you plan to change the name of the school?
No: we will remain as Admiral Lord Nelson School.
Do you plan to change the uniform for students?
No: we have no plans to introduce a different uniform. The vast majority of students and parents like the style and nature of the current uniform and it is amongst the least expensive to buy in the city.
Do you plan to change the curriculum?
We will continue to plan and deliver the best curriculum for our young people at ALNS. This changes every year as the student needs change and as a converter academy we will have the full power to carry on doing this.
Do you plan to change the timings of the school day or the dates of the holidays?
We have no plans to do either of these things, although it is much easier for academies to do this than community schools, should we need to look at this in the future.
Do you plan to change the admissions policy?
Not in the foreseeable future. We will remain part of the Portsmouth Local Authority Admissions Policy. One of our longer term objectives is to develop formal collaboration arrangements with our partner primary schools and a slightly different admissions policy may develop from this; for example, guaranteeing students in catchment schools a place at ALNS, but for now: no change
Do you plan to change the Governance of the School?
Academies are governed by a Trust Board which has slightly greater responsibilities than the current Governing Body. Our intention is to keep the size and function of the Trust Board very similar to our current Governing Body and becoming part of the Cooperative Schools network means that parent, staff and community governors will maintain an equal say.
All current members of the Governing Body will automatically become part of the new Trust Board unless they decide to step down.