BSCS takes next step on road to academy status

Bradley Stoke Community School

The Headteacher and Governors of Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) say they have agreed to take the next step in their “research” into the possibility of applying for academy status.

The news, announced in a letter to parents on Friday, comes five months after the school officially registered its interest in becoming an academy in June.

As a school rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, BSCS is ‘pre-approved’ for conversion to academy status, allowing it to be fast-tracked through the application process.

Of the 1,907 schools nationwide that originally expressed an interest in becoming an academy, 32 were able to open in the new guise at the start of the September term. That number has since risen to 80 and the Department of Education (DoE) says a further 60 are committed to converting in the next few months.

Friday’s letter says the BSCS Governors have approved:

  • Engaging legal and professional advice, enabling “a detailed breakdown of the actual costs and figures involved” to be obtained.
  • Drafting “detailed structural proposals” for the governing body to consider early 2011.

The school says it will shortly initiate a process of consultation with all stakeholders, starting with a presentation by the Headteacher and Chair of Governors on Wednesday 19th January 2011. This will be followed by an online questionaire, adds the school.

The letter concludes:

“Only when comprehensive research has been completed will we be able to make an informed decision about whether the benefits outweigh any negative implications as our only motivator is to provide the best possible opportunities for our students and in doing so achieve our vision and values.”

According to the DoE, academies can benefit from greater freedoms to help them innovate and raise standards. These freedoms include:

  • freedom from local authority control
  • ability to set your own pay and conditions for staff
  • freedoms around the delivery of the curriculum
  • ability to change the lengths of terms and school days
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