Nine more Peterborough schools to become academies

Another nine Peterborough schools are set to become academies, eight of which are primaries.

Sunday, 23rd July 2017, 10:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:19 am

The news means that 23 of Peterborough’s 57 primary schools will no longer be run by the city council, while 11 of 13 secondary schools will be academies.

Gunthorpe, Werrington, John Clare and Wittering primary schools will form the new Soke Multi Academy Trust, with Werrington acting as the lead school.

Jack Hunt School in Netherton will be the lead school for the Jack Hunt Multi Academy Trust, which will also include Thorpe, Longthorpe, Middleton and Ravensthorpe primary schools.

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Council leader Cllr John Holdich, who until recently was also cabinet member for education, said he was not in favour of schools converting to academies, but that he understood why schools wanted the change.

He added : “The schools do not have an option. The Government has made it quite clear they want all schools to be academies.

“There’s pressure on school funding and the pressure is even greater when it’s a small school. If you can come together and share backroom staff that cuts your expenses and allows you to spend money not on administration, but on the kids.

“There’s a shortage of expertise of teachers in many schools. If you can come together you can share expertise.” The schools are set to convert to academies by the end of the year.

Last month, the Peterborough Telegraph reported that Abbotsmede, Watergall and Parnwell primary schools had transferred from the control of the council to the Lime Trust, an academy chain.

Academies are publicly funded independent schools.

They do not have to follow the national curriculum and can set their own term times, but they still have to follow the same rules on admissions, special educational needs and exclusions as other state schools.

Academies receive money directly from the Government, not their local council.