News 

Academies Week to launch this autumn

Academies Week, a new weekly, printed and online newspaper is to be launched in September.

Called Academies Week, the new title will be similar in format and distribution to FE Week - a newspaper for the further education and skill sector launched in September 2011 - with £500k set aside for its first year running costs.

The editor of Academies Week will be Nick Linford, who successfully launched and edited FE Week up until the end of 2013.

Lscet Ltd intends to meet a demand in the school sector for an investigative newspaper focused on both policy and finance related stories. Launch day will be September 19 with the first edition at least 24 pages

Aimed at middle and senior managers in primary and secondary schools, along with staff in organisations with an interest in schools' related policy and finance, it's hoped to establish Academies Week as a high quality, trade publication within 12 months.

Subscription to the printed newspaper will cost £50 per year, with a target circulation of 5,000 by the end of the first year. The website will be free to view, with a hoped-for one million page views by the end of that first year.

Paper copies (typically 20 pages and tabloid sized) will be posted on Thursdays. A digital PDF version will also be emailed to subscribers on Thursday morning, and articles will also be published (no paywall) on www.academiesweek.co.uk

Operating out of publisher's offices in Greenwich, London, the new title will be in direct competition with the Times Education Supplement (TES), Sec Ed and to some extent national media reporting on schools, say the publishers.

Staff are upbeat about the launch. "We believe this will work based on market analysis and experience of launching FE Week, which has been both popular and financially successful," said Nick Linford.

He concedes launching a new title has risks but points out: "The risk is a lack of financial return on substantial investment. However, we have no investors to pay back nor loans, so we are in a very secure position to make the necessary investment."

With an existing staff of twelve, Nick believes they have already proved FE Week has a winning formula.

"FE Week has proved popular as we have invested heavily in news and features reporting in a large and vibrant sector, at a time when the competition has scaled its investment back. It has been financially successful as suppliers and recruiters in the FE sector have supported paper with sponsorship and advertising - it really is the sector's liveliest read!"

The plan is for Academies Week to cover both primary and secondary education and focus on news related to government policies and funding in the four to 19 schools' sector.