Ottery school plans to become an academy by April

The King’s School is sending off its application to achieve academy status this week.

The school has been consulting with parents and governors since November and has decided to go forward with the application. The change in status will mean King’s will have more control on how their budget is spent.

If successful, the school would become an academy at the start of the new financial year in April, and headteacher Faith Jarrett is confident their application will go through. She said: “The authority looks at exam results, financial reporting and Ofsted reports, and in that respect, I don’t think we have a problem.”

The governors at King’s, which recently placed fourth in the list of state secondary schools in Devon for GCSE’s, believe the change is necessary in the current financial climate to protect vital aspects of the schooling. Ms Jarrett added: “The governors feel to preserve the very important ethos and standards of the school we need to become an academy, so they can direct spending.”

The school has hosted two big parent meetings to discuss the planned change, and the head believes they are behind the plans. She said: “The vast majority trust us to make the right decision for the school, they understand the governors have spent 450 years creating a school they want and they’re doing this to preserve those values.”

The pupils on the student parliament were consulted, and also came out in favour of the change, but drew up a list of things they want the school to keep, including a commitment to extra-curricular activities, something the staff and governors also want to see maintained. Ms Jarrett said: “We are not planning to become rich by doing this; it is about preserving, maintaining and developing what’s important to the school.”