Stoberry Park School seeking to become academy

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By Wells_Jaqui | Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 10:50

On the 5th of July, the governing body of Stoberry Park School approved that the school should further investigate pursuing academy status with a potential conversion date early in 2012.

The government has invited schools to apply for academy status. This is a new initiative and should not be confused with the previous system whereby academies were created from failing schools.

Governors at the school said it has been working with increasingly difficult constraints and the current economic climate has resulted in us reviewing options open to us to support pupils into the future. Academy status would provide us with some additional funding.

The additional funding would result from the release to the school of its share of government grants for services – grants that are currently held by the local authority. As an academy, the institution will be free to choose who provides these services to ensure better value. This increased control over the use of our budget will enable school to respond more appropriately to the needs of students.

If it is decided to convert to academy status there will be no change to the admissions policy. The school would also continue to develop and deliver its broad and balanced curriculum. The ethos and values of the school will remain the same. 

The main differences between a community school (current status) and an Academy are as follows:

The school will cease to be funded and maintained by the Local Authority but will instead be funded and maintained by the Department for Education. In addition to its current level of funding the school will also receive additional funding equivalent to that currently retained by the Local Authority for their expenses. Stoberry is currently researching exactly how much this extra funding will amount to and how much will have to spend on services that are currently provided by the local authority.

 The school believes the increase in funding will be significant. Any additional funds will be used to directly benefit students in the school.

The school will become a trust which is a company limited by guarantee and an 'exempt' charity (which means it does not have to register with the charity commission). The school will be governed by an autonomous governing body which will be very similar in composition to the current body.

The school staff will be employed by the academy trust. Under existing legislation all staff will transfer to the trust under exactly the same terms and conditions of employment as they currently enjoy. Pension rights and continuity of employment are also unaffected by the transfer. There will be a full consultation process with all staff to ensure that any concerns or issues are dealt with during the process.

Full details of how the change in status will affect the school can be found on the website.

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