At least two West Midlands schools have admitted they applied to become new academies – without consulting parents fully over the idea.
Tudor Grange in Solihull and Ninestiles in Acocks Green both said their governing bodies had applied for fast-track academy status for this September.
Tudor Grange said it would be sending parents a newsletter this week explaining the bid, while Ninestiles said it has begun discussions with staff and parents despite not being “formally required to”.
The academies, launched by the new coalition government, can set their own staff pay rates, curriculum and the lengths of terms and school days.
Criticism has been levelled at schools for leaving staff and parents in the dark over the proposals.
Bob O’Hagan, project manager for Tudor Grange said: “There hasn’t been anything said to parents yet but they will be informed about what the proposals are.
“The school is ranked outstanding in all Ofsted categories and is reasonably confident it will get the approval of the secretary of state.
“There’s nothing to lose but quite a bit to gain. Parents have nothing to fear from not being part of local authority control.”
Ninestiles principal Christine Quinn said the school had been judged outstanding in its last three Ofsted inspections.
She added: “The secretary of state has said that schools are not required to consult formally on this change. “The governing body, however, has begun discussions with staff and parents. These are ongoing.
“Ninestiles School has a local and national reputation for innovation which improves and supports success in schools.
“It is in keeping with this reputation that the governing body decided to respond to the secretary of state’s offer to become one of the first of these new-style academies. The freedom to develop curriculum and work with students on new and better ways of learning, at the same time as ensuring all students achieve outstanding results, are opportunities we relish.”
Other schools have said they were not yet satisfied with levels of information regarding the implications of the change in status.
John Collins, secretary to the governors of the King Edward the Sixth schools in Birmingham, said they were “interested, but that’s as far as it goes.”
Kings Norton Girls, Bournville Junior and Arthur Terry Schools stressed they had only requested further information.
Arthur Terry head teacher Christopher Stone posted a message on the school’s website outlining the advantages and disadvantages that becoming an academy could bring.
He said: “We are currently in the process of completing a cost benefit analysis but at this point in time it seems to be 50:50.”