A BLACKBURN high school has announced its conversion to an academy.

Witton Park High School has been officially granted permiss-ion to break free from Black-burn with Darwen Council con- trol, and become a publicly fund- ed independent school.

Initially plans were for the school to be sponsored by the Tauheedul Trust, which saw extensive consultations take place over a number of months.

However, the school has been approved as a stand-alone acad-emy, something only permitted with ‘Good’, or ‘Outstanding’, schools.

Headteacher Dean Logan said the school was thrilled at the dec- ision.

He said: “We are delighted to confirm our academy status.

“We feel that Witton Park Acad- emy offers a great standard of education for all pupils across the borough. With GCSE grade A to C maths and English res-ults set to be above 80per cent this summer, the academy’s first set of results will be impr-essive.”

Academies have more freed-om than other state schools over their finances, the curr-iculum, and teachers’ pay and conditions. They are funded directly by central government, instead of receiving their funds via a local authority.

Last year the plan was for the school to come under the umb-rella of the Tauheedul Trust as its flagship academy.

Parents were told it would ben- efit from a national network of support and development opp-ortunities, along with improving educational standards.

However, earlier this month, Hamid Patel, chief executive of Tauheedul Education, said the Buncer Lane school was ‘well capable’ of becoming a stand-alone academy.

Announcing the change of Witton Park to an academy on Ofsted’s website, Michael Clad-ingbowl, the inspectorate’s dir-ector of schools, said former inspection results no longer apply as the academy is a new legal entity.

He said: “However, three years after the predecessor school was last inspected, it will be subject to Ofsted’s formal risk-assessment process, which may lead to an inspection.”