Gordano looks to academy status

GORDANO School may be set to opt out of local authority control to become an academy.

Parents, pupils, staff and members of the community are all being asked for their views before a decision is made next month.

Governors at the Portishead School have launched a public consultation to consider whether or not it should convert to academy status.

As a school with a rating of ‘good with outstanding features’ it is able to take up an invitation by the Department of Education, to take advantage of the freedoms offered by academy status.

Academies are state funded, but independently-run schools meaning they have more say over what they teach and how they spend their income.

Gordano has been a Foundation School since 2007 and as such the governors already own the assets, including the school buildings and land. They also employ the staff.

Academy status would give the school control over some of the revenue that is currently directed through the local authority and free it of some of the bureaucracy.

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Headteacher Gary Lewis says if the school does become an academy he is determined it would not become isolated from other schools.

He said: “Gordano has an excellent relationship with the local authority and we work very closely with a wide partnership of primary and secondary schools.

“Academy status might provide us with opportunities to tailor the services of the school very closely to the needs of the Portishead community, but that does not mean we will abandon our responsibility to other partners.”

The process of consultation is now in place and a public meeting at the school on February 16 will provide an opportunity for people to find out more.

The governors will vote on the issue at their meeting on March 31 and all response for consideration should be received by the chair of governors before February 25.

Further information is available on the website www.gordano.n-somerset.sch.uk