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Academy change ‘would save school from cuts’
6:00pm Friday 11th May 2012 in Education
THE Henry Box School in Witney will avoid cuts to staff and lessons by becoming an academy, its headteacher said last night.
The school is expected to become an academy and gain control of its running and budget from Oxfordshire County Council on June 1.
It will be the largest change since the 352-year-old school converted from a comprehensive in 1969.
But the school’s leaders will try to retain the status quo where possible, and have no plan to change the school’s name or uniform.
Headteacher Nicky Edmondson said converting to an academy would allow the school to curtail cuts to sixth-form funding.
The Department for Education (DoE) is making the savings to bring sixth-form funding in line with that of colleges, which the Government says are funded £280 less per student.
Mrs Edmondson said: “If we did not convert, in the future when the cuts hit us we would have had to seriously make changes to our current spending.
“It could have potentially meant cutting lessons or staff.
“By becoming an academy, which does bring in additional funds, we will be able to protect ourselves.”
She said the change could generate additional cash in the first year, which will be spent on staff to support children with special needs and the school’s literacy programme.
Mrs Edmondson said governors are convinced the move is in the best interests of the school.
The school’s application to become an academy is being considered by the DoE and is expected to be approved in time for a June 1 conversion. If there is a delay, it will convert on July 1.