Primary school could convert to Academy status

Sir Henry Fermor's C Of E Primary School. Photo courtesy of Google Maps. SUS-161102-165237001
Sir Henry Fermor's C Of E Primary School. Photo courtesy of Google Maps. SUS-161102-165237001

A primary school in Crowborough could become an academy.

Parents of pupils at Sir Henry Fermor CofE Primary School have been asked for their views regarding conversion to Academy status.

Last March the governing body of the school was replaced by an Interim Executive Board and has been working with Department for Education advisers since then. The advisers say becoming an academy would speed up improvements they are currently making at the school and secure its long-term future.

The main change would be that the school would receive its funding from central government rather than the council. This means it would have more freedom to appoint teachers it chooses and can control its own finances and curriculum. The government argues academies drive up standards by putting more power in the hands of head teachers and cutting bureaucracy. East Sussex County Council encouraged under-performing schools in the county to either merge with a good or outstanding one or convert to an academy.

On top of the regular per-pupil funding, academies gets money that would previously have been held back by the local authority to provide services. In 2015/16 this Education Services Grant is £87 per pupil.

The proposed sponsor is Tenax Schools Trust, an academy set-up and led by Bennett Memorial Diocesan School in Tunbridge Wells. Bennett has been operating as an academy since 2011, but last year Tenax, which is a Latin word for ‘tenacious’ or ‘steadfast’, converted to a Multi Academy Trust enabling other schools across West Kent and East Sussex to join.

Ian Bauckham, CEO of Tenax Schools Trust said: “If the IEB at Sir Henry Fermor decides to join the Tenax Schools Trust we look forward to working in partnership with the school to continue the work of improvement already underway so it better serves its pupils, families and the wider community in Crowborough by providing an outstanding education in a school with a strong Church of England ethos. The letter to parents and a document entitled Academy Key Facts can be found at: www.sirhfermor.e-sussex.sch.uk.

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