Village school to become academy
The Duke of Bedford School is planning to convert to an academy.
If the application is approved, it will join forces with five other local schools in a multi-academy trust.
Staff and parents were told about the plans in November and there will be a consultation evening arranged with parents where they can ask questions.
Converting to an academy means the school is no longer under the control of the local authority – in this case Peterborough City Council.
Instead, schools are being encouraged to join together to form multi-academy trusts (MATs) and be self-supporting.
The Duke of Bedford School plans to work with Church of England schools in Eye, Castor, Newborough and Peakirk as well as All Saints’ School in Peterborough.
Eric Rayner, chair of governors, said government policy was pushing all schools to become academies and the move was inevitable.
“All secondary schools and the majority of primary schools in Peterborough are academies. We have held back until now because we wanted to find the right schools to work with, schools where we would be equal partners, which shared a similar ethos and were local to the area.
“We didn’t want to be pushed into a large chain, where we would have lost our identity and where a highly paid chief executive would be more concerned about the size of his company car than children’s education.
“Our school won’t be renamed, we’ll keep our uniform and we’ll keep our identity. We will also have a strong voice on the new MAT, with one of our governors on the board of trustees and another as one of the foundation members.”
The school and the new multi-academy trust now have to go through a conversion and set-up process with the government. It’s expected this will take around six months to complete.
Cathy Bailey, Headteacher at the Duke of Bedford School, said she believed the move would strengthen the school and provide children with a better education.
“There will be increased opportunities for children and staff to work together across the six schools and share resources and expertise,” she said.
“All schools in the group were rated good in their last Ofsted inspections, we are forward thinking and outward looking, and we believe these changes will maximise the outcomes for our children.”