When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Belthorn primary school in bid to be academy
A PRIMARY school has become the first in East Lancashire to be given the initial go-ahead to become an academy.
Belthorn Foundation Primary School has been told in principle that it can pursue its plans to free itself from Lancashire County Council’s control.
Bosses at the 140-pupil school in Belthorn Road, Belthorn, will meet education secretary Michael Gove to discuss the next stage of the approval process.
After an initial consultation, school bosses agreed the move would be ‘in the best interests of the school, parents, staff and those associated with the school’.
They said, if conversion is approved following the lengthy process, it will ‘ultimately result in improved benefits to be passed on to its pupils and staff’.
Converting to an academy would allow the school to take charge of its finances, have more freedom over the national curriculum and take charge of admissions.
Belthorn Foundation Primary School head Janet Cooper said: “Following detailed discussions and consideration, the Governors of Belthorn Foundation Primary School decided to apply for academy status.
“We have received confirmation that the Department for Education has agreed in principle to the school becoming an academy.
“Academy status would not alter the way the school is governed or its unique character and ethos. It would provide an opportunity for greater flexibility and financial management which will ultimately result in improved benefits to be passed on to its pupils and staff.
"The school was eligible to apply because it is recognised as a good school with outstanding features.”
Lancashire County Councillor Susie Charles, cab-inet member for Children and Schools, said: “We have drawn up a briefing paper for schools giving them information about what any change might mean on a practical level.”