Five schools bid to be­come acad­e­mies

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By STEPHEN BRIGGS

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.

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