Marlwood School to turn into a academy status?
By charliewake | Sunday, May 27, 2012, 14:54
Marlwood school in Alveston Bristol, are discussing about opting out of the Local Authority of South Gloustishire.
The governance change was launched by the coalition in 2010, as part of the Academies Bill and means that Marlwood School would receive its funding directly from central government instead of South Gloucestershire Council and enjoy greater autonomy over how it is run.
Head teacher Keith Geary said that the academy model mirrored closely the school's values and ethos.
Given Marlwood School's successful record of collaborations with community groups and other institutions, he added, the governance change would allow staff and pupils to forge new and consolidate existing partnerships.
Last year, the secondary school was one of only 40 nationwide to receive the Investing in Community Engagement (ICE) award, for its work with communities.
Mr Geary said: "Our established history of successful collaboration as a beacon, advanced and leading edge school, coupled with our ICE award last May means that any future change of status should preserve and develop further already productive partnerships and strong academic standards."
He added: "Work with New Siblands Special School in areas such as Drama and Music, a local business publication, four World Challenge overseas visits and a touring teaching and learning mobile classroom have all been recent developments in this field. It is, and always has been, a strong feature of the school as it offers Marlwood pupils opportunities to develop talents and abilities through community-based activity."
The school is, however, keeping its options open and is also looking at other governance models such as the trust school system.
Trust schools are state-funded and receive extra support, usually non-financial, from a charitable trust made up of partners working together for the benefit of the schools.
Yet governors insisted an extensive consultation period would have to take place before they could commit to anything.
Mr Geary added: "Our decision to register an interest in academy conversion and to investigate the co-operative school model means that we will now be seeking the views of the whole community—parents, pupils, staff and other stakeholders—before making a decision in the best interests of our school and the community it serves."
A South Gloucestershire Council spokesman said: "We have discussed the school's plans with them and look forward to working with them under their new arrangements."