“The adoption deficit has one fundamental consequence. Teachers work longer hours. The failure of some leaders to comprehend what is possible inevitably means that old processes lead to longer working hours for teachers” - Mark Bocker, headteacher and education consultant.

There’s a new app that provides instant access to free Maths tutoring. ‘On-Demand’ is Tutorfair’s latest charitable initiative, designed to bring students in the UK’s rural and coastal regions up-to-speed through high-impact tuition.

How best to go about creating the ideal school group? Peter Rubery is the executive principal/CEO of The Fallibroome Multi-Academy Trust in Macclesfield, Cheshire. We spoke with Peter to find out exactly how education can thrive through an MAT.

Kate McMillan, head of inclusion at Aldar Academies, discusses how Edukey has helped change how they work with SEN students.

Aldar Academies is a leading provider of private education in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, in the United Arab Emirates. With over 5000 students across 7 schools, maintaining a SEN student register of 16%, we were faced with the challenge of improving the consistency of recording student details, delivery of interventions and the style and format of our personalised learning and behaviour plans.

At Bett Academies (16-17 March, NEC, Birmingham), Tom Rees, headteacher and director of Northampton Primary Academy Trust (pictured above, far left), will be sharing his school’s journey to becoming part of Northampton Primary Academy Trust (NPAT). He will also be explaining why, for better and for worse, it’s a marriage worth maintaining. The seminar session at 14:55 on Friday 17th March is free to attend, and is designed to give schools alternative ideas around gaining academy status.

This update brings you the most recent developments for Academy schools.

Update on VAT refund under s33B

We have previously commented on the options available to Academies in respect of claiming VAT suffered on expenses related to the provision of free education.

Some Academies will have taxable business supplies in excess of the current VAT registration threshold of £73k, and so will be compelled to register with HMRC and submit monthly or quarterly VAT returns.

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.

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