Bourne Westfield Primary School headteacher to stay on to oversee switch to academy

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A HEADTEACHER who planned to retire in July this year has agreed to stay on another year while his school converts to an academy.

Tim Bright, 57, had hoped to step down from his role in July after 14 years in his position at Bourne Westfield Primary School - but now he will see the school through its conversion to academy.

The school was granted academy status during the summer holidays and received its formal certificate for the conversion this week.

It will convert on November 1 and be known under its new name, Bourne Westfield Primary Academy.

Governors’ chairman Ivan Fuller said: “Mr Bright will stay at the school until the end of the summer term next year during the period of conversion and afterwards.”

It is hoped that Mr Bright’s stay will provide stability during the change.

Mr Fuller is delighted that the school has been granted academy status to pave the way for more independence.

He said: “We are pleased that we are proceeding towards the academy plan for November. We feel it is the best way forward for the school, for the children and for the staff.”

The school’s governing body applied to the Department for Education for academy status earlier this year.

The Government said last year that any schools with an outstanding Ofsted rating, or a good one with outstanding features, could apply for the status. Bourne Westfield was judged “outstanding” in 2008.

Schools which become academies are no longer under local authority and government control and are free to adapt the national curriculum, set their own pay and conditions for staff, change the length of terms and school days and set their own admissions policies.

Mr Fuller said the governing body planned to start advertising for a new headteacher in the spring. He hopes someone will be appointed for the position by autumn.

Mr Fuller said: “Mr Bright will also help us in the search for a new headteacher. We are very positive we will find someone in the given time.”

Following Mr Bright’s decision to retire in the summer, the governing body started looking to recruit his successor.

But the governors were unable to find a suitable candidate so the governors asked Mr Bright to continue and he agreed.

Earlier this year Mr Bright said he would be sad to wave goodbye to the school, saying “It has been a real privilege being the head of such a wonderful school”.

Mr Bright is only the second headteacher the school has employed since it opened in 1975.

He followed on from June Woollard, who retired in 1997, and has overseen the growth of the school from 475 pupils to its current roll of 630 children.

Mr Bright has seen the school through three Ofsted inspections.

He was unavailable for comment this week.