School considering academy status

A HEADTEACHER of a popular secondary school has revealed that he is planning to apply for academy status, writes Kate Ferguson. Speaking to the Times, Terry Molloy, at Claremont High School, Claremont Avenue, Kenton, said becoming an academy was an attra

A HEADTEACHER of a popular secondary school has revealed that he is planning to apply for academy status, writes Kate Ferguson.

Speaking to the Times, Terry Molloy, at Claremont High School, Claremont Avenue, Kenton, said becoming an academy was an 'attractive prospect' because of the greater flexibility in teaching it enabled.

Academies are schools which are funded by the government with the help of an outside sponsor, but are independent from local authority control, providing greater freedom over the curriculum and finance.

They also attract around 10 per cent extra funding.


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Education minister, Michael Gove last month wrote to headteachers urging them to become academies, and schools deemed outstanding by the schools inspectorate ofsted, as Claremont is, are fast tracked through the process.

Mr Molloy said: "We are definitely looking at applying for academy status. It enhances your income giving you more money to spend on pupils and that's got to be a good thing.

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"To have the freedom to create your own curriculum and the freedom to work across local authorities and work nationally, would be very exciting.

"We will be discussing it in full at our next full governors meeting."

About a quarter of the secondary school sector in Brent comprises of academies, but they have aroused strong opposition.

In the summer of 2008 more than 100 protesters camped on a site in Forty Avenue, Wembley, where a new academy was planned to be built. The site is now home to Ark Academy, a school due to open in September.

Critics of academies say they create a two tier state education sector in which academies can select the best students and teachers while comprehensives are left to teach struggling pupils, with fewer funds.

But Mr Molloy insisted he had no intention of altering Claremont's admissions procedures.

He said: "We are not interested in enforcing a new selection process for our students. That is against our ethos.

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