More local schools to become Academies

Author: Cyril Richert

Belleville Primary School to become Academy

According to a recent press report from Wandsworth Council, Belleville Primary School in Battersea has applied for academy status under the Government’s education reforms.

The governing bodies at both schools have now voted in favour of applying for academy status following consultations with staff, parents, pupils and their local communities.

f their bids are approved by the Department for Education (DfE) it would mean the schools have greater powers of independence and are funded directly by central government rather than through the council.

Bolingbroke High School converted from “free School” status to Academy

The borough’s first ‘free school’ is set to open in the former Bolingbroke Hospital building in September 2012. Local parents’ group the Neighbourhood School Campaign has successfully applied to convert the building into the new Bolingbroke Academy which would be run by education charity ARK Schools.

Bolingbroke Academy would be independent of the council and free to attend for local children.

ARK Schools that will be running the new Bolingbroke Academy free school in Battersea has appointed the head teacher who will be in charge when it opens to pupils next year.

The educational charity has appointed Claire Edis as the founding principal of the academy. Ms Edis is currently the deputy headteacher of Parliament Hill School in Camden – a girls’ comprehensive with a mixed sixth form.

Her appointment has been welcomed by the council’s spokesman on schools and education. Cllr Kathy Tracey said: “This is a top line appointment and further proof that this new free school is going to offer a very attractive choice to parents of secondary age children in this part of the borough. The day that this free school opens its gates is now drawing closer and closer…”

[By the way, I thought that the Council said that it was no longer a free school as it was converted into an Academy now… The terms are not that easy to understand as there is some confusion inside the Council itself.]

The school, which will open on the site of Battersea’s former Bolingbroke Hospital will admit its first 120 Year 7 pupils next September and will continue growing each year until full. It will have four forms of entry each academic year.

The academy will have the normal admissions rules of a state funded school with most pupils joining from five feeder primary schools – Belleville, Falconbrook, High View, Honeywell and Wix.

It is promising a “rigorous academic education” that will prepare all its pupils for university courses.

The curriculum will have excellent English and mathematics at its core, to provide the strongest possible educational platform from which all subjects can be taught effectively. The school will set very high achievement targets for all pupils and will organise its curriculum and teaching to make it possible for all pupils to reach their targets.

A full curriculum will be in place to age 14 including all current National Curriculum subjects including separate sciences, design/technology and IT, as well as music, drama, foreign languages, art and sport. The curriculum for pupils entering the school with attainment below age level will be designed to accelerate their progress so that they can participate fully in the whole curriculum.

From age 14 the school will offer a full programme of GCSEs, together with a selection of other courses to ensure a programme which challenges and meets the needs of all pupils. The expectation will be that almost all pupils should continue to study at least one humanity and a language to age 16.

From the age of 16 the school will offer a full programme of A levels, together with a selection of other courses to ensure a programme which challenges and meets the needs of all pupils. Other course options such as International Baccalaureate and Pre-U will also be considered for inclusion nearer the opening date, when the likely extent of demand for such programmes can be determined.

The idea for a new free school on the Bolingbroke site started when a group of local parents set up the Neighbourhood School Campaign (NSC) to campaign for a non-selective, socially inclusive, non-denominational secondary school in this part of Battersea.

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3 thoughts on “More local schools to become Academies

  1. All free schools are academies, and always were. But not all academies are free schools. A free school is simply one particular route to becoming an academy. Once the school is up and running it doesn’t mean all that much.

    • Hmmm ok, thanks for the explanation.
      Then a free school is the name given when following a particular way (set up by parents instead of government) until it reaches the point when it becomes a school, i.e. an academy. Political jargon? But anyway it is not a free school anymore, it is a academy, right?

  2. The distinction ceases to matter, as I understand it. So far as the most people are concerned it remains a free school, which means that it is also an academy. It just tells you how the school came into being.

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