A HEADTEACHER says becoming an academy trust is the way forward for her school.
Stamford Queen Eleanor School’s board of governors hopes to become an academy and has launched a consultation exercise to find out parents and the community’s views.
Head Wendy Hamiliton said the school could gain an estimated extra £150,000 a year and more control over what it spends its money on.
More than 400 schools in England have become academies since September last year with the majority being secondary schools.
This initiative gives schools greater freedom from local authorities, set its own curriculum, the power to change the length of terms and school days and the ability to set its own pay and conditions for staff.
Parents, staff and the community will be able to have their say on the plan until Tuesday, July 5. A meeting for parents will be held on Monday at 7pm.
If the consultation is successful, the school could convert to academy status on January 1 and will be working with the CfBT Schools Trust on this.
Miss Hamilton said: “We think as a school it will give us more independence to make decisions about the school and its future, decisions I believe should be in the hands of the school itself.
“There is also the potential for additional funding and the ability to use existing funding more freely.
“We think we are at that stage where we feel confident as a governing body that this is the way forward for the school.”
The school currently has a budget of £2m a year and Miss Hamilton says that the current government calculations state it would get £150,000 if it went for academy status.
The school will also receive £25,000 from the Government to help with the legal costs.
Miss Hamilton said “This is a very exciting time for Stamford Queen Eleanor, we were approached by CfBT Schools Trust because of our strong academic record, community spirit and nurturing environment.
“This is a consultation process and we actively encourage feedback. While we believe academy status would be a positive step for the school, no decisions have been made and we are keen to discuss the proposal with parents, students, staff and key stakeholders to reach a decision collectively.”
For more information please visit www.queeneleanor.org.uk where a question and answer leaflet can be downloaded. Catmose College in Oakham and Uppingham Community College are already academies and Casterton Business and Enterprise College and The Deepings School are considering such a move.