Five schools bid to become academies
SOME of the top schools in Peterborough could be given new financial freedom as part of a government initiative,
Four secondary schools and one primary school in the city are among more than 900 across the country that have contacted the government showing an interest in becoming a new academy.
Education secretary Michael Gove has written to a number of schools urging them to become academies claiming it will give them greater control over the curriculum and the freedom to change the school day and term times.
But the main change is that their funding will come directly from Whitehall, bypassing the local authority.
The schools – Hampton College, Orton Longueville School, Arthur Mellows Village College, King’s School and Bishop Creighton Primary School – all received outstanding or good Ofsted reports at their last inspection, and would be given more freedom to spend money on areas of their choosing if they became an academy.
Mike Sandeman, head teacher of Arthur Mellows Village College, in Glinton, said: “There will be a big difference between the academy that we would be and others already in the city.
“The original academies were generally introduced to help schools that had been struggling. We have been invited to become an academy because we have an outstanding Ofsted report this year. There will be no sponsor as in other academies.
“Becoming a new style academy will allow us to do a range of things, such as spending money where we believe it will benefit children most, rather than where the government want us to.
“There won’t be a big difference for pupils, parents and staff overnight. We will still have the same top teachers and pupils, but we will be able to focus on being able to turn this into a world class school.”
Hampton College received an outstanding Ofsted report in March 2007, and head teacher Peter Hains said: “We have not made a decision in either direction yet. We want to talk to staff, parents and pupils before we make that decision. The thing that has interested us is the freedom from constraints that it would bring.”
Orton with Hampton ward city councillor Nigel North, who is on the board of governors at Hampton College said: “It already is an excellent school, with top facilities and top teachers. Becoming an academy would give the school the freedom to grow in a way that is appropriate, rather than in a corporate way.”
SUCCESS: Arthur Mellows students Anthony Dinatale, Oliver Aird, Kizzie Burkett, Rebecca Haynes, Megan Haynes, Olivia Frost, Olivia Beesley with head teacher Mike Sandeman with their top GCSE results certificate - the school is one of those interested in becoming an academy.