Academy agreement triggers consultation

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By Exmouth People | Monday, January 31, 2011, 11:00

GOVERNORS at Devon’s largest school have entered a period of consultation to decide whether it will become an academy this spring.

Exmouth Community College, which recently became a specialist maths and computing school, is the latest in the county to receive confirmation that the Secretary of State for Education has approved a change of status.

A period of consultation has now begun, giving parents and staff the chance to have their say. Governors will make their decision over the next few weeks as to whether the college should break away from local authority control on April 1.

The school’s senior team and the governors say they have considered the potential benefits of academy status, which can include more funding per pupil, very carefully.

They say the move would result in greater flexibility of the curriculum to improve opportunities for students.

There would be some increase in funding and a greater control over the school budget, which the school thinks will improve education standards at the Gipsy Lane school and benefit the wider community.

Schools in Devon which have already made the move include Uffculme School and Broadclyst Primary School.

They say the freedom from Devon County Council control reduces the burden of bureaucracy and allows staff to focus on teaching because professionals who know the students best are placed at the centre of the decision-making process.

The college would be managed by an academy trust but will not change its name.

Principal Tony Alexander, who is still recovering after a car accident this month, said: “We are committed to every child’s education in our catchment area.

“We believe that academy status is an excellent opportunity to build on, and maintain, the outstanding education that is provided at the college and develop further the opportunities for all of our students.”

There are concerns about academy schools, which the coalition Government encourages.

Teaching unions say they can create a two-tier system, with those placed with schools elsewhere receiving less financial support.

      

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