Kingsbury High School becomes a ‘converter academy’

First steps made to change its status permanently

A school has changed its status in a move which will see it break away from the local authority.

Kingsbury High School, in Princes Avenue, became a “Converter Academy” on Thursday, December 1.

Schools which adopt academy status are given extra funding from the government and it is estimated the school will receive �700,000 over the coming year.

The move means local authorities lose any decision-making power they previously held while their education budget is also cut in order to fund the new academies.

Hank Roberts, Brent secretary for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, described the move as a “pity”.

He said: “It is wrong that other schools and the local authority will suffer from having their funding cut because of the extra funds being given to academies.”

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Teaching unions previously held a day of strike action on September 29 to protest against the proposed plans.

Mr Roberts added: “It’s a pity that they have decided to support Michael Gove’s [Secretary of State for Education] policy.

“Nonetheless, I believe that the overwhelming majority of schools will not go down this route and I commend them for that.”

Around 40 per cent of schools in the country have adopted the status and last week the Times revealed that Preston Manor Foundation School in Carlton Avenue East is considering a conversion.

Academy status gives schools the power to set their own term dates and manage their finances.

Kingsbury has claimed there will be no changes to dates, no increase in the headmaster’s salary and that the “ethos of the school” will remain the same.

Headteacher Jeremy Waxman said the terms and conditions of the move were fully discussed and that every governor signed a Deed of Adherence to commit to the agreed terms.

He added: “This commits the school to national terms and conditions for teaching staff and local terms and conditions for support staff.

“It requires an 80 per cent vote if there were any proposals in future to change them. “

The school has also claimed it will continue to be an active partner in the educational community and collaborate with local schools, Brent Council and other education providers.