Bourne school gets go-ahead to become an academy

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A SECONDARY school is on the cusp of becoming an academy after securing Government approval.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has supported The Robert Manning College’s application to change status.

School governors applied earlier this year and will meet on June 14 to make a final decision. If they proceed the school would be called Bourne Academy.

Governors’ chairman Roger Moore said: “The governors are pleased to have received the go-ahead to move to the next stage of conversion to academy status.”

Mr Moore said the next stages were extremely important.

He added: “It is our intention to ensure that any change in status is in the long term interests of the students, staff and the wider community of Bourne.”

The school, which was 1,200 pupils aged 11-18, hopes the change will raise standards.

Principal Laurence Reilly said: “The extra funding that comes with the change of status would enable us to maintain our current staffing levels, while continuing our extensive programme of investing in further improvements to buildings and facilities.”

“One key aspect that will continue is our commitment to achieving ever increasing educational standards in a modern, friendly and supportive environment.”

He added: “The college was originally known as Bourne County Secondary Modern School before adopting the name of the 13th century Gilbertine monk and historian Robert Manning.

“Given our strong links within the local community, I am pleased that the name of the town might again become the key part of the academy title.”

Academy status would allow the school to break free from local authority and set its own curriculum and pay and conditions for staff, change the length of terms and school days and set its own admissions policies.

Mr Reilly said there would be no change to the school’s admissions procedure.

If the governors press ahead with the changes, the school would reopen as an academy in September.

Any schools with an outstanding Ofsted rating, or a good one with outstanding features, can apply for the status. Robert Manning received a ‘good’ Ofsted report with outstanding features in October, 2008.

Bourne Grammar School is also hoping to become an academy, but its bid has been blocked by Bourne United Charities which owns part of the school site.