Bishop Luffa headteacher talks about academy conversion

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BISHOP Luffa School is hoping to forge partnerships with other schools to make the most of its new academy status.

The school became an academy in December as it celebrated its fifth year,

Headteacher Nick Taunt told the Observer why the Bishop Luffa converted to an academy, and what is next for the school.

Unlike other secondary schools in the area, which became academies sponsored by trusts, Bishop Luffa converted to academy status.

“You can’t see any dramatic change,” said 
Mr Taunt, but he explained there were two core reasons why Bishop Luffa converted to become an academy.

“So that we can be more flexible with the funding that will come directly to us for educational welfare,” said Mr Taunt. “It goes towards supporting children with special educational needs, and emotional needs as well.”

He said when the school was under the remit of West Sussex County Council, it did not get funding for these things. Now the school can look after the welfare of its own students more effectively.

“The second reason why we have pushed ahead and become an academy is we can see the opportunities for developing stronger and livelier and more effective partnerships with other schools than was possible 
in the last few years,” said 
Mr Taunt.

“I am not interested in being an independent 
school, I am interested in being part of a supportive partnership.”

He said the school was exploring the idea of a multi-academy trust, either with other church secondaries in the area, or primary schools.

But he said this was in the first stages, and he was keen to work with other schools to create such a trust.

The school already works with others in a number of ways, through the Western Area Secondary Providers (WASP), and the Blue Flag Teaching School Alliance, which is made up of a number of secondary, primary and special schools in the area.

Its other big link to schools in the area is of course through the church, which still has a strong leadership role in the school, and other church schools in the area.

“The whole educational landscape is changing,” said Mr Taunt, and he is keen for Bishop Luffa to move with it in the right direction.