Knottingley schools convert to academy

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COUNCIL chiefs have rubber stamped proposals to allow two Knottingley primary schools to become academies.

Wakefield Council’s cabinet members approved a report on Tuesday enabling Knottingley Simpson’s Lane J&I and Knottingley Ferrybridge Roundhill Primary Schools to convert to the new status from August 1.

The schools will join 17 academies across the district which have opted out of local authority control to join a multi-academy trust model with external partner, School Partnership Trust Academies (SPTA).

The SPTA sponsors a number of academies nationally and provides leadership development, support and services previously supplied by the local authority.

The report said a formal statement had been provided by Knottingley Ferrybridge Roundhill school on Hampden Close, which was deemed ‘satisfactory’ at its last Ofsted inspection in April this year.

The report added: “The governors agreed that becoming an academy was the best way forward for the school. Having the freedom to design a curriculum that fully meets the needs of our children was one of the deciding features.”

The report added the governing body of Simpson’s Lane J&I School on Sycamore Avenue – which was deemed ‘good without outstanding features’ in a 2009 Ofsted report – resolved on February 9 to apply for academy status.

A statement from the school said: “In the last two years the school has undergone significant changes both in its profile, size and provision.

“Throughout this time the support we have had has been of a high standard and we would like to thank the colleagues from the local authority who worked particularly closely with us to ensure the best possible outcomes for children and families.

“The governing body has looked at a number of alternatives in order secure what they see as the most beneficial route forward for the school.

“The decision was not made easily and involved extensive information gaining activities prior to holding a vote.”

Academies are publicly-funded independent schools, free from local authority and national government control. The amended Academies Act 2010 has made it possible for any school to become an