Community School starts formal consultation on academy status

Bradley Stoke Community School

Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) has begun a formal consultation on the possibility of converting to academy status.

The two week consultation was originally planned for earlier in the year but was delayed until potential partner schools Patchway Community College and Brimsham Green School were ready to run simultaneous consultations with their respective stakeholders.

Information available on the BSCS website includes a formal consultation and comment document together with separate question and answer compilations for students, staff and parents.

Dave Baker

Speaking to Wednesday’s Annual Town Meeting at the Jubilee Centre, BSCS headteacher Dave Baker said converting to academy would give the school “more freedom and responsibility about the curriculum and how we provide and purchase services”, adding:

“By working in partnership with other schools, we can run as one business and have greater efficiencies in times of financial austerity, enabling us to put more resources into teaching and learning.”

The timescale for conversion to an academy is said to depend on completion of the formal consultation process and detailed research into the financial obligations, pension liability and funding agreement.

However, the partner schools say they are currently working towards enabling each establishment’s governing body to make a final decision by the end of June to consider conversion “on or by 1st September 2011 or later”.

On the question of whether converting to an academy would be reversible, one of the consultation documents states:

“It is not a one way ticket but either party (i.e. academy school or Secretary of State for Education) is required to give seven years’ notice to change status from being an academy.”

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