A consultation into converting Ashton Community Science College (ASCS) into an academy has begun.Advertisement
Parents received an email from the headteacher on Friday advising them of the proposed changes.
If the decision is taken to convert to an academy, ASCS will voluntarily join the Bay Learning Trust – a multi-academy trust set up by Ripley St Thomas in Lancaster.
The change would mean the school would no longer be run by Lancashire County Council and would be run directly from central Government.
The Academy Trust enters into an agreement with the Secretary of state for Education that sets out its responsibilities and accountabilities for the effective running of the Academy – which operates as a charitable, not-for-profit, trust.
Headteacher Miss Asquith said: “The Governing Body considers that being part of an academy trust is the best option for safeguarding our school from an ever changing political landscape and ensuring continuing improvement.”
Parents have been invited to a meeting on Wednesday November 13 at 6pm to ask questions and raise any concerns.
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Miss Asquith said: “After due consideration our Governing Body has taken the decision to explore becoming an academy and join the Bay Learning Trust (a Multi Academy Trust set up by Ripley St Thomas in Lancaster).
“Ripley is an Ofsted graded Outstanding school, so we see this invitation to join the Trust they set up as an exciting opportunity.
“The change will not alter the unique nature of our school. We will continue to sit at the heart of the local community, to offer high quality opportunities to our students and enable each one of them to experience success and become mature young adults.
“Governors believe that being an academy will give us a freer hand to do the best we can for our whole school community.
“Whilst we will be part of an academy trust, rest assured that the organisation and every day running of the school will continue as normal.
“The transfer to academy status will have no effect on the staff at Ashton or their terms and conditions of employment.
“The Governing Body recognises that our staff members are central to the success of this school and so are committed to retaining them through offering this reassurance.”
Parents have set up a Facebook group to discuss the proposals.
Some have criticised the timing of the announcement – which came the day after the deadline for secondary school admissions – saying the announcement may have influenced their choice of school.
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Information for parents and pupils, including a full list of frequently asked questions, is available on the school website.
The consultation closes on Friday December 13.
What do you think about the proposal to convert Ashton Community Science College into an academy? Let us know in the comments section.