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No vast changes for Kidlington academy
GOSFORD Hill School in Kidlington has converted to academy status.
The school consulted on the plans in April, and made the switch on November 1 – meaning children left the establishment as a school at the end of half-term and came back to an academy.
Last night headteacher Dr Stephen Bizley declined to comment on what the change meant for the school.
But during consultation he said there were no plans to change its name, uniform or terms and conditions for staff and the governing body would remain in place.
He also anticipated the school would get an extra £150,000 in funding, which would be spent on additional resources and work with partner primary schools.
The 900-pupil school was rated good by Ofsted earlier this year.
A letter home to parents from the headteacher just before half-term read: “On November 1 we will convert to an academy.
“It will be business as usual.
“We continue to listen to our parents.”
There are now 26 academies in Oxfordshire, six of which are sponsored academies and the rest of which are high-performing schools which have converted.
Gosford Hill comes under the second category.
Oxfordshire County Council education cabinet member Melinda Tilley said: “I am very pleased for them.
“I have been to visit the school a couple of times and they are very impressive and I think they will do well.”
She added: “I think we are at the tipping point now with more and more schools converting and the attitude has changed.
“We had an ‘over my dead body’ attitude for a series of months and now they are gradually coming in and saying can you talk to us and give us the options so things are beginning to move a bit faster.”
Three of Oxford’s secondary schools are now academies, Oxford Academy, Oxford Spires, and The Cherwell School, while Cheney and Matthew Arnold School have both had their applications to convert agreed by the Government.
St Gregory the Great School has also applied, but so far only one city primary, John Henry Newman School, has become an academy.
Academies are publicly-funded independent schools which have control over their own budgets and curriculums and can set their own pay and conditions for staff, and make changes to the length of terms and the school day.
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