Below is a letter that my colleague in Croydon Save Our Schools sent to the Croydon Advertiser......
The true cost to the tax payer of the transfer of two community high schools to academy status is only just becoming known.
Disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act show some of the costs of changing Haling Manor into an academy. The interim costs are £981,666 to cover the feasibility of the proposal, including legal, educational and consultative related tasks and also project management fees, a range of activities to prepare the academy for opening, including transition planning, educational, ICT, and buildings related tasks. This figure also includes a grant to the academy trust to cover 'lead-in' costs such as key staff, office expenses etc.
In addition the actual main capital (building) costs have not yet been finalised, but it is estimated this will be a multi million project because of the need for a sixth form building, updated ICT provisions and other improvements. These figures do not include Croydon Council's costs nor the DCSF's staff costs. Academies also receive a 'Start up' grant in their first years. It would be interesting to know just how much the sponsors contribute.
Haling Manor currently offers music to a very high standard but despite promises from the Harris sponsors at the public meeting we now find that this specialism is being dropped and replaced with sport and enterprise.
The figures for Ashburton are not yet known but no doubt they will be on a similar scale to Haling Manor and it is known that the capital costs for the junior and infant buildings will be met by the LA.
One wonders why academies receive preferential treatment such as special funding running into millions but such funding is not available to existing community schools.
Tags croydon, greenparty