Lancashire TelegraphAcademy bid considered by Blackburn's Witton Park High School (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Academy bid considered by Blackburn's Witton Park High School

Lancashire Telegraph: Headteacher Dean Logan Headteacher Dean Logan

A BLACKBURN high school which moved into a new state-of-the art building in September is considering becoming an academy.

School bosses at Witton Park High School, in Buncer Lane, met on Monday night to discuss the possibility of breaking free from Blackburn with Darwen control and becoming a publicly funded independent school.

Academies have more freedom than other state schools over their finances, the curriculum, and teachers’ pay and conditions.

They are funded directly by central government, instead of receiving their funds via a local authority.

Witton Park headteacher Dean Logan said: “Many policies and agenda items are reviewed periodically as good practice, as part of this process governors review all aspects of the school. Status is part of that review.

“Governors have scheduled meetings throughout the school year. Monday night’s governors’ sub group is one that is focussed on staffing and curriculum matters.

“Staffing and curriculum issues are very important in planning for school improvement. Discussions on and around academy status are common place in schools and with Governors.

“Academies make up more than 50 per cent of secondary schools nationally and is one of the Governments key policies.”

Coun David Hollings, chair of governors at the school, did not attended the meeting but said he was aware of the discussions. He said: “We always look at a wide range of things at the school. There are no decisions being taken but we are looking at all possibilities.

“The government is perpetually changing education policies and we have to discuss how all these changes may or may not affect us.

“Last night’s meeting was the first of the new year in which the topic could have been discussed. It’s in the very early stages of discussion.”

Simon Jones, executive member for the NUT union slammed the idea.

He said: “The school has been rebuilt as part of the BSF scheme and now they are looking at doing their own thing.

“We are working with our school representatives and teacher members. The members are very worried because they have seen the problems other members are having in academies in relation to pay and working conditions.”

Comments (7)

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7:48pm Wed 16 Jan 13

devo12 says...

academies DO NOT make up "more than 50%" of schools, why does this site print any old rubbish, check the facts first, stop misleading people.
academies DO NOT make up "more than 50%" of schools, why does this site print any old rubbish, check the facts first, stop misleading people. devo12
  • Score: 0

8:12pm Wed 16 Jan 13

Noiticer says...

After the local authority put in much effoert to gain funding for their new building
After the local authority put in much effoert to gain funding for their new building Noiticer
  • Score: 0

9:47pm Wed 16 Jan 13

liddle 'un says...

Anything that gets a school away from the left wing loons that run the education authority must be a good thing.
Anything that gets a school away from the left wing loons that run the education authority must be a good thing. liddle 'un
  • Score: 0

11:35pm Wed 16 Jan 13

DGower says...

I hope all BWD Secondary Schools become Academies. This Local Authority doesn't deserve to run schools in this town. They are a shambles.

Guaranteed other new builds within BWD will do the same. Get their new building and jump ship.

Wake up and smell the coffee BWD ........ Your poor decision making and pathetic leadership (Morgan, Davenport et al) is now costing you dear.
I hope all BWD Secondary Schools become Academies. This Local Authority doesn't deserve to run schools in this town. They are a shambles. Guaranteed other new builds within BWD will do the same. Get their new building and jump ship. Wake up and smell the coffee BWD ........ Your poor decision making and pathetic leadership (Morgan, Davenport et al) is now costing you dear. DGower
  • Score: 0

8:35am Thu 17 Jan 13

RibbleLad says...

devo12 wrote:
academies DO NOT make up "more than 50%" of schools, why does this site print any old rubbish, check the facts first, stop misleading people.
In reply to devo12 I should like to point out the report was in fact correctly worded and was not misleading people at all. The statement:

“Academies make up more than 50 per cent of secondary schools nationally and is one of the Governments key policies.”

is quite correct. Over 50% of SECONDARY schools in England are now academies of one form or another, in the main "converter academies".

The percentage of PRIMARY schools in England that are now academies is, however, significantly lower.

A similar situation existed in the 1990's, when the percentage of primary schools that became grant maintained, as compared to secondary schools, under an earlier government's grant maintained initiative was also significantly lower.

This difference is most likely down to a question of size. Whilst many small primary schools have converted, most haven't, their governors being justifiably wary of the extra responsibilities that increased autonomy brings. Such extra responsibilities can readily be handled in secondary schools, where the Senior Leadership Team is larger and the numbers of administrative staff etc are greater.
[quote][p][bold]devo12[/bold] wrote: academies DO NOT make up "more than 50%" of schools, why does this site print any old rubbish, check the facts first, stop misleading people.[/p][/quote]In reply to devo12 I should like to point out the report was in fact correctly worded and was not misleading people at all. The statement: “Academies make up more than 50 per cent of secondary schools nationally and is one of the Governments key policies.” is quite correct. Over 50% of SECONDARY schools in England are now academies of one form or another, in the main "converter academies". The percentage of PRIMARY schools in England that are now academies is, however, significantly lower. A similar situation existed in the 1990's, when the percentage of primary schools that became grant maintained, as compared to secondary schools, under an earlier government's grant maintained initiative was also significantly lower. This difference is most likely down to a question of size. Whilst many small primary schools have converted, most haven't, their governors being justifiably wary of the extra responsibilities that increased autonomy brings. Such extra responsibilities can readily be handled in secondary schools, where the Senior Leadership Team is larger and the numbers of administrative staff etc are greater. RibbleLad
  • Score: 0

8:53am Thu 17 Jan 13

Noiticer says...

The rise of the academies is just another facet of the pursuit of self and financial gain which is taking the UK in an ever downward spiral of social and economic decline. No doubt there will come a point when the majority will demand a halt and the long haul back to a fairer and socially more cohesive society is begun.
The rise of the academies is just another facet of the pursuit of self and financial gain which is taking the UK in an ever downward spiral of social and economic decline. No doubt there will come a point when the majority will demand a halt and the long haul back to a fairer and socially more cohesive society is begun. Noiticer
  • Score: 0

4:30pm Thu 17 Jan 13

ladysal says...

Personally, I would back this purely on the basis of the fact that Simon Jones thinks its a bad idea.......
Personally, I would back this purely on the basis of the fact that Simon Jones thinks its a bad idea....... ladysal
  • Score: 0

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