Godmanchester primary latest school to consider academy status

GODMANCHESTER Community Primary School is the latest school in the district to consider becoming an academy.

Pupils’ parents are being consulted on whether the school should convert to an academy with a proposal to bring in the changes by April ahead of the school opening as Godmanchester Academy in September.

Governors at the school started to look at changing status in 2008 when the school was rated “outstanding” by Ofsted inspectors. They will look at the responses from two public meetings last week and from the school’s academy website before making the final decision.

Philip Ellington, headteacher, said: “Ultimately, this is a progressive move that has been thoroughly investigated by the governors who have put in 200 hours over the past 14 months to get this far.

“Of course it will be a risk, but the benefits to the school and the children far outweigh the risks of responsibility in managing the school.”

If the Godmanchester school becomes an academy, it will become independent from Cambridgeshire County Council and gain powers to source extra funding and have a greater control over spending and its curriculum.

The school said that academy status will give it greater flexibility to prioritise its vision and objectives, greater freedom to manage resources, and strengthen foreign language teaching, creative methods of learning and the quality of teaching.

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Mr Ellington added: “The status would mean we would have more responsibility, which we’ve discussed with governors and parents, and we believe that we can cope with the added pressure it brings.”

Buckden Church of England Primary became Buckden Academy at the beginning of the year after achieving the status in November. Crosshall Junior and Infant schools the only other primary academies in Huntingdonshire.

INFORMATION: More details on Godmanchester Primary School’s conversion to an Academy can be found at www.gmc-academy.org.uk