Sidmouth College to become and academy?

Governors consider change in status

PARENTS will be asked whether Sidmouth College should become an academy.

Governors at the Primley Road institution have decided to look into the implications of such a move.

College leaders yesterday emphasised no decision has been made and proposals are at a very early stage.

Academies are publicly funded independent schools, free from local authority control. They get their funding directly from the Department for Education and are accountable to the Government.

Mums, dads and carers of nearly 1,000 students were set to receive letters addressing the subject today and tomorrow.

“We can be part of a trend which is really changing the way schools are being run,” college principal Jeremy Roberts told a Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce meeting on Wednesday morning.

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“It could be a significant change for the children and we want the community to be aware of what we’re doing.”

A college spokesperson said yesterday: “The governors did decide at their last meeting they would look into the implications of Sidmouth College becoming an academy.

“Letters are going out to parents to get their views on whether they would be in favour of this or not. No decision will be made until well into the New Year when all the considerations have been thoroughly weighed up.

“The quality of pupils’ education is of prime importance and governors would wish to be sure that such a move would be beneficial.”

Academy status typically means schools have more control on how their budget is managed as spent. Changes are traditionally implemented at the beginning of a new financial year on April 1.