Like many places, there is a headlong rush to convert secondary schools into academies in Leicestershire. But the release from LEA control and the increased freedom and budgets are just the first step. What we are seeing here is an industry wide change process. We are asking Head Teachers to oversee a major shift in how education is delivered … frequently with very little outside support.

Instead of being a publicly owned school, we are now talking a multi-million pound business with a staff of anywhere between 50 and 200 people.

Instead of Principals and a Board, we are talking CEO and Board of Directors. Just different names? Well, no, there are different rules in play now, different legal responsibilities and different expectations.

There are very big challenges ahead for Academies.  They will have to now compete in a more open market to recruit pupils and staff, they will start to look at ways of generating revenues, they will have to manage suppliers and budgets and cashflow.

The transition to Academy is just the first step. I believe the smart Academies will be those that want to transform themselves into something unique and exciting. Now THAT is a fun challenge for a consultant like me.