Bishop Luffa unveils academy status plans

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CHURCH school Bishop Luffa is be the final secondary school in the city to become an academy, it has been revealed.

The school will become a converter academy under a new ‘umbrella trust’ of schools run by the Chichester Diocese.

“Bishop Luffa governors have considered for two years whether to convert to academy status,” said head teacher Nick Taunt.

“The sharp reduction in the service offered by the local authority now means we will be able to serve our young people better as an academy than is possible currently.

“We remain wholly committed to our close partnership with the WASP group of local secondary schools and with the Blue Flag Teaching School Alliance that Bishop Luffa leads.”

A Chichester Diocese spokeswoman confirmed the school plans to convert to a diocese academy in December.

“The school will become a church academy and will still be linked with local churches,” she said.

“As West Sussex’s policy is encouraging every school to become an academy, Bishop Luffa wishes to do this in a way that they can keep the best of what they do now and take some of the flexibility of academies.

“It is not going to be linked to any other academy chain. It’s not going to change the character of the school or submissions.

“It will look the same, certainly to parents and local people.

“The difference is that the new board of trustees will have to take over responsibilities for some of the things the county council is now responsible for.”

School governors began a consultation earlier this year to check out parents’ views on the move.

“Governors believe that becoming an academy will benefit our pupils’ education and welfare,” read the letter.

“It will do this by spending more efficiently and effectively the monies currently held on its behalf by the local authority.

“Taking charge of our finances will enable us to target specific support for pupils across the school.”

Only schools with an outstanding Ofsted status can become converter academies.

Results of the survey showed 73 per cent of respondents were happy with the academy plans, despite several people saying they were ‘no fans’ of academies per se.

Chichester High School for Girls and Chichester High School for Boys became academies under The Kemnal Academies Trust (TKAT) this year. The Academy, Selsey, has been a TKAT school for a number of years, but the linking-up of the three schools heralded a change in the way education is provided in the area.