Many schools are considering converting to an academy. With the prospect of greater financial freedom, coupled with flexibility in curriculum delivery and increased autonomy, becoming an academy looks like an attractive proposition. But what benefits do academies secure over schools, and is there truly greater financial freedom?
An obvious place to start is the freedom afforded to academies in the delivery of the school curriculum. Changes do not need to be approved by the Local Authority (LA) since decisions are made by school leaders to best meet the needs of their pupils. They can also offer a range of other qualifications, above and beyond those offered by LA schools. This means that academies can choose to specialise in one or two subject areas, such as Science or Languages, to reflect their expertise.