Soham school applies for academy status

SOHAM Village College has become the latest school to take advantage of new Government legislation by applying for academy status.

SOHAM Village College has become the latest school to take advantage of new Government legislation by applying for academy status.

Headteacher Dr Carin Taylor and her team of governors announced the move on Monday and said that the new status would allow the school greater control over its future teaching and spending plans.

If successful the village college will become one of the hundreds of schools across England and Wales that have opted to apply for academy status, a move that allows headteachers to loosen local authority control.

“Our governors are very excited by the idea that we could take even further control of our own curriculum and have the freedom to spend our budget as we wish,” said Dr Taylor.

“We look forward to having the freedom to make changes to how the school is organised in the best interest of our students and to innovate and improve whilst being able to keep what we are doing well.”

Dr Taylor said that the school would be holding an open meeting on Thursday, January 13 to allow parents and students the opportunity to hear more about the plans, and share views and opinions on the change.

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If given the go-ahead by the Government, the school may be able to adopt the new status as early as April and begin overseeing more aspects of its day-to-day running.

Academy status will allow the school the power to adapt its curriculum, negotiate pay and conditions with its teaching staff and take control of its buildings and facilities.

The City of Ely Community College announced a similar moved in March, when it applied for foundation status.

Chair of the school’s governors, Nicola Close, said: Academy status gives a unique opportunity for the school leadership to provide what is best for our students and for the whole community to redefine what a village college is in the 21st Century.”

Though becoming an academy would effectively make it an independent school, Dr Taylor said that the college would retain its relationships with other schools in the area and the local education authority.

“We very much value our partnership working with other schools and hope to strengthen collaboration in the months and years ahead. The college is committed to the provision of outstanding learning for young people and will continue to work with other agencies in Cambridgeshire to ensure that the needs of young people are fully met.”

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