Turing House

Questions about governance and financing:

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How is the school governed?

See our Governance page for full details.

What is a Free School?  

Free Schools are the only way to create new community schools under current education policy. See here for more information.

Do Free Schools get more funding than other schools?

Although there is some additional start-up funding to cover initial set-up costs as there is for any new school, on an ongoing basis Free Schools are funded in the same way as other maintained schools, with their funds coming directly from central government.

The formula used to calculate their revenue varies between Local Authorities to ensure that they receive the same funding as other local schools.  This funding is known as the Local Authority Central Spend Equivalent Grant (LACSEG).

Unlike community and foundation schools, Free Schools and Academies control their own budget and have freedom to decide whether to buy services from the Local Authority, another authority or from another organisation. They may do this separately or in a group with other schools.

Do national political parties disagree over free school policy?

The Free School policy was seen as quite radical when it was announced by the Coalition Government in 2010.  There was originally a lot of criticism by the Labour Party in particular, and some Liberal Democrat politicians too, because they were worried about some of the freedoms that were potentially being given to free school groups.  However, Turing House was always intended to be very similar to other local secondaries.  For example, we have pledged to follow the National Curriculum, only employ qualified teachers, and to meet or exceed national standards on school meals.  We are also rooted in our local community, with parents playing a significant part in the Steering Group and Local Governing Body.  We are therefore in-line with the pre-election policies of both Labour and the Lib Dems, as well as that of the current Conservative Government.

Who is the school’s educational provider and what is their track record?

The school's education provider is the Russell Education Trust (RET).

RET worked with Bristol Parents Voice to open Bristol Free School in 2011. It is also the sponsor for Becket Keys CofE Free School, which opened in September 2012. They opened two more free schools in 2013; Kings School in Hove, and St. Andrew the Apostle School in Barnet.

RET is an academy sponsor approved by the Secretary of State for Education. It works in partnership with the national school improvement company, Education London (EL), and a group of outstanding partner schools, head teachers and Ofsted trained inspectors.

EL is highly respected for its support to a number of new academies and as the sole Education Services provider to the London Challenge. EL gave its private funds to set up RET and still gives a combination of pro-bono and at-cost support to RET free schools.


Are RET Planning to establish many free schools?

RET intends to remain relatively small. It currently sponsors five secondary Free Schools and aims for a maximum of six secondaries and two primaries.

Does RET make a profit from its schools?

No – RET is a non-profit charitable trust just like any other academy sponsor. It has exactly the same "exempt charity" status, and the same level of funding,  as the academy trusts that are responsible for running our other local community secondaries, including Waldegrave, Orleans Park, Teddington, Twickenham Academy, etc.  RET's trustees do not (and are not allowed to) draw a salary from the trust.

How much of the school’s money will be going to RET?

100% of the school's money will go to the Russell Education Trust, which then uses it to run the school, in accordance with the Funding Agreement that it will sign with the DfE.  The money is not used for any other purpose.  Again, this is exactly the same set up as our other local academies.  (e.g. Waldegrave's funding is paid to the Waldegrave Trust, which then uses it to run the school).  RET uses approximately 5% of the money for high level management functions such as HR, financial management, procurement etc.  (The comparative figure for the average Local Authority school is approx 11%).

What role does Education London have in relation to the school?

Education London has no formal role in relation to the school.  However, the RET schools benefit from access to Education London services, which can be provided on request, strictly on an at-cost or pro-bono basis.  They are not obliged to use those services if they don't want to.  Education London makes no profit out of any services it provides to RET schools.

What happens if RET goes into administration?

It can't!  It is a non-profit charitable trust, which receives its school funding directly from the Government, in accordance with its Funding Agreement.
If you mean what happens to the school if Education London go into administration, the answer is "nothing".  RET is completely separate to EL.  It benefits from EL's expertise, but isn't financially dependent on it in any way.  (As an analogy, imagine if a private firm offered pro-bono or at-cost services to the Orleans Park Trust, but then went into administration at a later date.  The school would have still benefited in the meantime).

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