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Academies interest for 15 East Lancashire schools
FIFTEEN East Lancashire schools are interested in becoming academies.
The move comes just weeks after Education Secretary Michael Gove wrote to schools across the country inviting them to become academies.
Academies are publically-funded but independent state schools free of local government control.
Governors and headteachers would set their own pay and conditions, including changing term times and they would be given freedom from the National Curriculum.
Schools rated outstanding by Ofsted are to be fast-tracked through the scheme.
In East Lancashire seven 'outstanding' schools have declared an interest in becoming academies. They are:
Bowland High School, Grindleton
Haslingden High School
Padiham St Leonard's CofE Primary School
Tauheedul Islam Girls High School, Blackburn
Turton and Edgworth CE/Methodist Primary School
Wensley Fold CE Primary School, Blackburn.
Another eight schools not rated outstanding have also registered an interest. They are:
Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School
Belthorn Foundation Primary School
Fearns Community Sports College, Stacksteads
Oswaldtwistle St Andrew's CE Primary School
Pendle Vale College, Nelson
Sacred Heart Primary, Blackburn
St Christopher's CofE High School, Accrington
St Wilfrid's CofE High School and Technology College, Blackburn.
New academies could be created as early as September.
More than 900 schools across the country have registered an interest.
Headteacher Iain Hulland, from Alder Grange Community and Technology School which is in talks about registering, sounded a warning: “This is the biggest decision the school will ever have to take and in the end we have to do what is right for Alder Grange and the pupils and parents here.
“The implications would be absolutely enormous because if we agree to be fast-tracked we would be locked into the agreement for seven years.
“We have our concerns, not least because there are still so many question marks about what is involved.”