As well as being Chair of Governors at Oakfield CE Primary in Ryde, I am a member of Lanesend Primary Academy Trust and secretary of Ed-WISE Isle of Wight.

While I agree entirely with Peter Shreeve (CP online, 02-07-22) that "parents, pupils, staff and the community need to ask questions to ensure academisation is the best option", I wonder whether he has considered the fact that all the Isle of Wight academies were rated "Good" at their most recent Ofsted inspections, whereas 11 Island local authority-maintained schools (more than a quarter of the remainder) were rated "Requires Improvement"?

Hopefully they are all well on their way to a more favourable judgement.

The quote from Emma Knights, chief executive of the National Governance Association, may have been taken out of context.

She was quite rightly making the point that the financial implications are much tougher, in that there is much stricter financial discipline.

Academies are required to commit to surplus budgets and to remain within them 'in year', or face challenge which could lead ultimately to the cancellation of their funding agreements if they do not respond positively to a notice to improve.

Emma's reference to governors repenting "if they buy into a trust that is flashy and makes a lot of promises but doesn't deliver" must also be right.

Governing bodies should expect to undertake thorough due diligence before committing their schools to join a strong Multi Academy Trust, ensuring especially that the MAT adopts the right approach to creating freedom to act for their headteachers, enabling them to judge for themselves what is relevant in their local communities in continuously improving the education and life chances of their pupils.

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