What does becoming an academy school actually mean?

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In March, the government announced plans to convert all schools into academies.

The controversial proposals have attracted much criticism, and Derbyshire County Council has pledged to do everything possible to fight the plans, including lobbying the government.

Read more here and here.

But what does becoming an academy actually mean? This is how the government describes academies:

• Academies are publicly funded independent schools.

• Unlike state schools, they don’t have to follow the national curriculum and can set their own term times.

• However, they still have to follow the same rules on admission, special educational needs and exclusions as other state schools.

• Academies don’t get money from the local council, it comes directly from the government instead.

• And they are run by an academy trust, which employs the staff.

• Some academies have sponsors such as businesses, universities, faith groups or voluntary groups. Sponsors are then responsible for improving standards in schools.