Five things we’ve learnt this week

Marianne Pope
Marianne Pope

As researchers at The Key, we’re constantly learning new things. Here are five of the most interesting things we’ve learnt this week:

1Schools cannot convert to academy status without hiring a solicitor

The Department for Education (DfE) strongly recommends that schools take legal advice when converting to academy status. However, in a brand new article on The Key for School Governors this week one of our associate education experts explains why, in reality, schools cannot convert without a solicitor.

2School leaders were most interested in policies and funding in the spring term

At the beginning of this week our insights manager, Nathan, had a look at our most popular articles among school leaders and governors in the spring term 2016. He found that members of our school leader service were most interested in topics such as statutory policies and school funding. Among members of our governor service, on the other hand, questions from Ofsted, year planning and the new DBS check regulations topped the list.

3Some schools raise funds through cashback on online shopping

With budget pressure increasing on what feels like a daily basis, schools are having to get more creative with the ways they fundraise. When one of our members asked us about getting cashback from online retailers as a way of making money, we sought advice from the DfE and looked at a number of schools already doing this. For tips on generating additional income watch our 100-second video, presented by researchers at The Key.

4Schools can sell surplus produce from a school garden

Sticking with the fundraising theme, another school asked us whether there are any rules preventing schools from selling the surplus fruit and vegetables they grow in the school garden. We took advice from the Department and the Food Standards Agency, who agreed that there’s nothing to stop schools from doing this. Do read our article to find out what to consider, though.

5After-school clubs boost attainment for disadvantaged pupils

On Wednesday, we reported that new research into the effect of after-school clubs has shown that disadvantaged pupils who took part in after-school clubs once or twice a week “made significantly more progress” than those who didn’t. Interestingly, the same can’t be said for their non-disadvantaged peers.

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