Cricklewood school to become an academy

Governors at Whitefield school voted to opt out of local authority control

A SECONDARY school that specializes in training aspiring footballers will become an academy.

Governors Whitefield School in Claremont Road, Cricklewood, have voted to opt out of local authority control, and say they hope to complete the switch over in time for the new school year in September.

The secondary decided to take advantage of the Tory-led coalition Government’s offer for outstanding schools to be fasttracked into academies – giving them greater control over their finances and curriculum.

Speaking about the governors’ decision, headteacher Martin Lavelle said the change of status would gives the school greater security in Barnet.

He said: “As a school we hope this change will enable us to improve the good relationships we have with other local schools and community groups.

“The school’s main purpose, to provide a high quality non-denominational non-selective education for male and female students in Barnet, will remain absolutely unchanged.”

Most Read

Whitefield is situated in Barnet but many of its pupils come from Brent, where Claremont and Kingsbury schools have embarked on the process of becoming an academy.

Keith Nason, branch secretary of Barnet’s National Union of Teachers, said: “The trouble with taking this drastic short term view is that there are no guarantees that schools will be better funded in the next few years if they become academies.

“Schools will lose democratic accountability with sponsors and co-opted governors having power to enforce policies at odds with parents and teachers.

“Worst of all, this American style system will almost certainly end with schools being run for profit and not for the benefit of pupils.”

Cllr Andrew Harper, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Families, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have a range of schools in Barnet that feel they would like to convert to academy status and wish them all well.

“The council will continue to do what it can to support every school that wishes to convert to academy status.”

The school’s admissions arrangements will remain the same and it will not change its name.

Anyone wishing to comment on the proposal can contact Mr Lavelle at the school before Friday July 1.

Are you a parent at the school? How do you feel about it becoming an academy? Contact the newsdesk on 0207 4336237