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Convent also eyes academy status
3:00pm Thursday 19th July 2012 in News
THE one remaining local authority-funded secondary school in Thurrock has said it too is looking into becoming an academy.
It was announced last week that the Grays School Media Arts Collge, in Hathaway Road, intended to become an academy, meaning the Convent School for girls would be the only state secondary not to have academy status.
But Dawn Collis, deputy headteacher at Grays Convent School, has said the school is looking into the possibility of separating from the clutches of Thurrock Council.
She said: “We are looking at it and have had it on the agenda at governors meetings.
“We have been seeking the expertise of an LSU school in Kent and picking their brains.
“But our governors need to be convinced it’s right for us.
“It would give us more freedom financially to manage the budget and from an educational point of view, it’s attractive to have that freedom with the curriculum and to be able to do slightly more creative things with that.
“Thurrock is a unitary authority and a small area and there are strengths in that, but when you’re an outstanding school as we are, there’s only so much the local authority can do. “There’s been rapid change in education.”
More and more primary schools in the borough are also expressing an interest in going it alone as academies. Four primaries are already academies, with at least another six thought to be expressing an interest in the idea.
One of those is Stifford Primary, which is even considering changing its name should it be granted academy status to Castle Primary, as it is located on the old Belmont Castle site.
Headteacher Mark Jones thinks eventually all schools in the borough will become independent.
He said: “We’re one of the few primary schools looking to go it alone, without the help of a secondary school.
“The local authority is shrinking, what it can offer us is very limited. “As we become better and better, we get less and less reliant. I can’t think of any reason why we shouldn’t become an academy.”
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