May 11, 2016
King Alfred School issues statement after government's academy u-turn

News that the Government has abandoned plans to convert all schools to academies has been welcomed by Somerset County Council and it has led to a statement being issued by King Alfred School in Highbridge this week.

Last month, reported here that King Alfred School is considering becoming an academy.

A school spokesperson told on Tuesday (May 10th): "The King Alfred School Governing Body has been considering partnering with a successful Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) for many months."

"We believe that any partnership arrangement should make a positive difference to our students, staff and community. The benefits of strong partnership working are clear to us, as well as the additional benefits becoming an academy could bring to our School."

"The consultation period continues to run until Monday 6th June 2016 and we look forward to hearing the views of all those involved after this date. At the forefront of the decision will be the importance of securing the future of The King Alfred School and our Sixth form provision."

A consultation meeting about joining the Clevedon Learning Trust was held last Thursday (5th May).

Somerset Cabinet member for Children and Families, Cllr Frances Nicholson, had criticised the national plans in a letter to the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, saying: "There is no evidence that the structural change of academisation improves outcomes for children."

Under the original draft government plans, all state schools in England would have left the oversight of the local authority by 2022.
But in a turnaround over the past week, the Government said that they support strong local authorities where schools are good and outstanding and that they can make their own choice whether to convert.

"Until we understand exactly what is in the new proposals I can’t go into too much detail," Cllr Nicholson said. “However, we are very pleased with the Secretary of State’s decision and welcome the choice this gives back to all schools.

"It’s important that policy makers listen. They asked for comment, people responded and they seem to have taken that on board and that is how it should be. We will continue to work with all of our schools to support strong partnership working that enables all children to fulfil their potential."


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