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Schools all set to grasp academy opportunities

UP to 30 Solihull and Birmingham schools could become academies under the new coalition government.

UP to 30 Solihull and Birmingham schools could become academies under the new coalition government.

Two - Tudor Grange in Solihull and Ninestiles in Acocks Green - have admitted they have applied to become new academies from this September although parents have not been fully consulted.

The academies can set their own staff pay rates, curriculum and the lengths of terms and school days.

Tudor Grange said it would be sending parents a newsletter this week explaining the bid, while Ninestiles said it has begun discussions with staff and parents.

Bob O’Hagan, project manager for Tudor Grange said: “There hasn’t been anything said to parents yet but they will be informed about what the proposals are. The school is ranked outstanding in all Ofsted categories and is reasonably confident it will get the approval of the Secretary of State.

“There’s nothing to lose but quite a bit to gain. Parents have nothing to fear from not being part of local authority control.”

Ninestiles principal Christine Quinn said: “The Secretary of State has said that schools are not required to consult formally on this change. The governing body, however, has begun discussions with staff and parents. These are ongoing. Ninestiles School has a local and national reputation for innovation which improves and supports success in schools.

“It is in keeping with this reputation that the governing body decided to respond to the Secretary of State’s offer to become one of the first of these new-style academies.”

Under new rules drawn up by Education Secretary Michael Gove, any school which received “outstanding” status from Ofsted inspectors can become an academy automatically.

Birmingham’s “outstanding” schools which have expressed an interest are Ninestiles School in Acock’s Green, Robin Hood Junior and Infant School in Hall Green.

The interested Solihull schools are Marston Green Infant School, Tudor Grange School, Lode Heath School, Arden School, Langley School, St. Patrick’s C.E Junior and Infant School, Heart of England School, Lyndon School Humanities College, St Patricks CofE (Aided) Junior and Infant School and St Peter’s Catholic School and Specialist Science College.

 

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