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21 May 2012

The Government is keen for academies and schools performing well to agree to formally sponsor low performing schools. Currently, the Office of the Schools Commissioner (OSC) are unlikely to approve a sponsor application from a collaboration of schools without a lead school as sponsor because they want to see a clear line of accountability.

A recent survey conducted by Ipsos Mori on behalf of Browne Jacobson LLP shows whilst there is appetite amongst schools to embrace collaborative approaches more than half of all recently converted academies feel they lack the necessary knowledge and could benefit from additional guidance and support before agreeing to sponsor.

The number school sponsors could be increased if the OSC were willing to approve Teaching School Alliances and other mature school-led formal partnerships as sponsors. Such a solution would mitigate againts the risk of adverse impact on the supporting school, utilise existing governance arrangements to provide clear accountability whilst providing a local solution that could be popular for low performing schools.

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