PRIORY School at Lewes will not be applying for academy status.
Having being judged “Outstanding” by Ofsted, there had been speculation the school might seek to be directly funded by central Government and independent of local authority control.
Currently the 1,100-pupil comprehensive, in Mountfield Road, is controlled and funded by East Sussex County Council.
A number of schools across the country which have been judged to be “Outstanding” are currently applying to become academies.
But the Governors at Priory have clarified the school’s position in a statement. It said: “We have discussed the issue within Governing Body meetings and with staff. Currently we have decided not to register an interest in applying for academy status.
But a switch has not been ruled out. The statement continued: “We will continue to monitor and reflect on changes and developments in the external environment as they happen so that we can better anticipate the future and steer the school on an appropriate path.
“Therefore members of the Governing Body will continue to research, along with all other options, what being an academy would mean and to what extent and in what ways it might benefit or disadvantage the school, the students and the wider community.
“We would like to reassure staff and parents that before any decision was taken relating to the status and future direction of the school, we would initiate open discussion with parents, teachers and other stakeholders.”
Meanwhile, Priory has adopted a confiscation policy on mobile phones. The school acknowledges the need for students to own a mobile and that students, parents and staff would all agree that they are particularly useful in keeping students safe on the way to and from school.
However, the use of mobile phones is not permitted during the school day. Phones should be turned off in school and stored securely in the student’s locker.
If a student is caught using a mobile phone, staff are expected to confiscate it. If the student complies politely it will taken to the pastoral office and locked in the safe until the end of the day.