Bourne Westfield Primary School to apply for academy status

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BOURNE Westfield Primary School plans to become an academy in September to give it more independence.

The school’s governing body has decided it would be in its best interests to apply for academy status following a consultation with parents and staff.

Headteacher Tim Bright is positive that making the application to the Department for Education is a step in the right direction.

He said: “Becoming an academy would allow the school greater independence and allow it to harness the best resources to provide a quality education for the children at the school.”

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

Governors’ chairman Ivan Fuller said the governing body had considered the advantages academy status could bring and any additional responsibilities.

He said “Academy status will assist us in providing a first class setting for our pupils and staff, giving the school a greater opportunity to shape its future.”

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.

It has also been confirmed that The Robert Manning College will open as Bourne Academy in September.

The school’s governors voted to go ahead with the move, following Government approval from Education Secretary Michael Gove.

The governing body applied to become an academy earlier this year and now its chairman Roger Moore said their aim was to ensure the change was successful.

He said: “Our most important task is to

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ensure that we build upon the successes of The Robert Manning College, already above the new challenging 50 per cent GCSE target for schools announced by Mr Gove, and ensure that Bourne Academy is a worthy successor.”

Mr Moore said changing status was the obvious way forward for the school, which has about 1,200 pupils aged 11 to 18.

The school received a “good with outstanding features” Ofsted report in October, 2008.

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

Bourne Abbey Primary School was the first school in the county to be granted academy status.

It received confirmation in December and is now known as Bourne Abbey Primary Academy.