If your school is considering academy status

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Rights and conditions
02 November 2016
There are a number of things members in schools considering academy status can do and these are listed below.

What you can do

The very first thing you can do is print off and read section 1 of ATL's academies checklist, as well as print and distribute the academies FAQs available at the bottom of this page. The actions outlined in ATL's academies checklist are also shown below.

1. Check if your school is applying for academy status

Contact ATL to see if your school has applied to become an academy.

2. Contact members, hold a meeting and set up a campaign team

When there is an indication that the school may be considering a move to academy status, contact your colleagues in writing to alert them to the threat. Following on from that, one of the best ways to ensure everyone has the opportunity to be brought fully up to date is to hold a meeting or series of meetings held jointly with other unions and open to the whole staff community. A campaign team means decisions and activity are shared. For details, see:

3. Elect a rep

Having a rep will help make sure your school is organised and can run an effective campaign.

4. Distribute campaign materials, and speak to colleagues parents and community members

Ensuring parents are onboard is critical to strengthening your influence over the school's decision on academy status. You can distribute the:

5. Lobby the governing body

Your school cannot become an academy without a vote of the governing body. When you lobby the governing body, use:

There is also a joint union letter for the governors of primary schools. If you want to see the latest National Governors' Association guidanceon academies, contact ATL.

6. Make sure there is a proper consultation

Schools must consult 'those persons who they believe appropriate'. ATL believes it is essential to for the school to consult widely if it is considering changing status. See:

7. Attend TUPE meetings

Your school might try to start the TUPE consultative process before governors have taken a final decision on academy status. ATL does not believe this is necessary, reasonable or best practice, but this does not infringe any statutory guidance.

ATL should always be represented at meetings. Contact your branch secretary if you need support and see:

8. Lobby councillors to help galvanise support for your campaign

Local councillors have experience campaigning and have access to community and special interest groups.

9. Use the media

Make sure the community you serve knows about academies and your concerns. You can contact your local paper and radio stations through search engines such as www.newspapersoc.org and www.radio-now.co.uk/main.htm.

10. Ensure everyone is in the union

Size matters when campaigning - by showing that staff and significant members of the local community are behind us, the greater the chance of success. ATL's online joining form is at www.atl.org.uk/join.

11. Keep members informed of what's happening in the school

Think if it's appropriate to hold a meeting for members, and where appropriate, a joint meeting with other unions can be held. See ATL's academies FAQs available at the bottom of this page.

12. Keep ATL informed

Let us know about the status of your school's academy application, so we can make sure you have the support you need. Speak to your branch and you can also contact ATL's London office about academies.

Full list of resources for schools considering academy status:

Don't forget to notify ATL if your school has registered an interest in switching to academy status.