Witchford Village College on track to become an academy

PUBLISHED: 09:10 20 July 2011

WITCHFORD Village College is set to become an academy in the autumn, boosting its funding by around £200,000 in the next academic year.

The college is already considering how to spend the promised extra cash - and has announced there will be no change in the school’s name to mark its new status.

Principal David Taylor said: “Becoming an academy will not change the nature of our school, or its day to day running.

“The difference will be more money to spend on the education of the children, to enrich their learning and give them a better experience to improve their outcomes.

“We have always been a village college, and that is very important to us, to be a part of the community and to provide community education, none of that is going to change. This is not going to turn the school on its head.”

Governors at the specialist sports college took the decision to go ahead with applying for academy status on Monday, after consulting with parents, staff, students and unions. They hope to make the switch on October 1.

After hearing the news, Mr Taylor said: “I am very pleased; it is great to know that for the foreseeable future we shall have these additional resources.

“Cambridgeshire is poorly funded by central government, and we have had to get used to getting less money to spend on our students; this will give us the level of funding that other schools have enjoyed for years.”

The extra money to be awarded to the college when it becomes an academy represents the cash that the government would have otherwise given to the local authority to provide support for the school; as an academy it will have more control over its budget.

The Department for Education says: “Academies are publicly funded independent schools, free from local authority and national government control.”

Looking to the future, Mr Taylor said: “I anticipate the extra funding would be about £200,000; we are a small to medium school and that is a significant amount of money to add to our disposal income.”

Students and staff will be consulted on how best to spend the extra cash.

“We will use it for things that will really make a difference here,” stressed Mr Taylor, “it is important to spend it in a way that helps our children achieve.

“It could be used to improve facilities on the site, so children get a better learning experience; it could be used on resources in the classroom, or to fund special projects.”

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