Havering schools are a step closer to becoming academies

THREE HAVERING schools are a step closer to becoming academies after making it through to the final stages of the process.

Coopers’ Company and Coborn School in St Mary’s Lane, Upminster and Brittons School in Ford Lane, Rainham have just completed their period of consultation over the decision to opt out of Local Authority control.

Abbs Cross School in Abbs Cross Lane, Hornchurch are also at the final stage of the process and are awaiting final approval from Education Secretary Michael Gove.

The Headteacher of Abbs Cross School, Glenn Mayoh said: “We are just awaiting the final approval but we see no reason why it will not go through.

“It is going to be mean greater autonomy for us and it will help us to continue the school improvements and higher standards for our students.”

The decision means that all three schools could be open as academies as early as April 1.

If they are given the go ahead it will see them breaking away from Local authority control and becoming publicly funded independent schools.

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They would have greater autonomy over decisions like their budgets and would be able to make their own conditions.

Headteacher of Coopers’ Company and Coborn School, David Mansfield said that it would leave the school more financially secure.

He said: “We have a tradition of academic excellence, strong support and extra curricular enrichment all of which is a lot of money so we want to be able to preserve that.

“It is inevitable given the nature of the current climate things are going to be difficult and we feel that with the acadmey process we will be able to continue these things and the school will grow.”

But Sue Kortlandt from the Havering branch of the National Union of Teachers branded the schools as greedy and selfish.

She said: “The main reason for changing to academy status is for the money but its a problem because it means that all these schools are doing is grabbing money and it will deprive the other schools in the community of their share of the money.

“They are cutting and running so it is greedy and selfish.”

The move follows the decision by the coalition government last summer that schools had the choice of opting out of local authority control.

These three schools were all invited to become academies because of their outstanding performance and good academic achievement.

Sue said: “One of the things the academies can do is set their own terms and conditions and we are concerned about this.”