New academy policy for West Sussex

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WEST Sussex County Council has updated its education policy regarding academies.

The policy shows how the council plans to support schools wanting to apply for academy status but emphasises it is ultimately for governing bodies and schools to take the decision.

Peter Griffiths, county council member for education and schools, said: “Our role as a local authority will be to do all we can to assist schools to make informed decisions about academy status in the best interests of their pupils now and for generations to come.

“We also want to ensure parents and carers are consulted and informed as part of the conversion process.”

Mr Griffiths said there would still be a major role for the council as academies develop.

“The close collaboration and co-operation between schools and local authority that has been so successful over many years, will be maintained,” he said.

“Although we would like to see our maintained schools apply for academy status, we have stressed this is a decision for schools to take, and I want to make it clear the relationship with those that decide not to convert will remain completely unchanged.”

The policy also says the council will:

Concentrate resources on the transformation of under-performing schools by facilitating academies and encouraging high performing schools to work with lower performing schools as part of their academy conversion process.

Be proactive in supporting schools to identify sponsors or partners.

Ensure converting schools can choose to continue to access relevant support services through West Sussex County Council.

Use its statutory powers to work with sponsors, governing bodies and the Department for Education to ensure appropriate interventions are carried out in under-performing academies.