Eastlands Primary School plans to become an academy

Parents will have the chance to ask questions at a briefing on November 5
Parents will have the chance to ask questions at a briefing on November 5

A primary school has announced its plans to convert to an academy in February next year.

The governing body of Eastlands Primary School, in Lansdowne Place, Rugby, has submitted an application to the Department for Education (DFE) to seek approval to convert the school to a Single Primary Academy.

Tom Legge, chair of the school’s governing body and lead proposer of Rugby’s first ‘free school’, said academy status would help Eastlands become an ‘outstanding’ school.

“We believe that this is the most appropriate status for our school and allows us maximum autonomy in terms of our future development,” he said.

The school hopes to convert to an academy on February 1 2015.

Mr Legge said: “As an important part of the conversion process, we are undertaking a consultation period with stakeholders to explain the process, the implications, answer any questions and gather input and feedback.”

Academies are accountable to the Secretary of State and are not required to follow the National Curriculum.

The school will host a parent briefing session on November 5 at 9am to give parents the opportunity to ask governors questions.

Mr Legge said: “Becoming an academy will allow our school leaders greater freedom to innovate.

“For example, as we would be free from the requirement to follow the National Curriculum, the school could choose to develop a specific curriculum to meet the specific needs of its own pupils, recognising the local context of the school.”

Governors said the school would still work with the local authority and other primary schools in the area if it was given academy status.

Eastlands was rated as a ‘good’ school by Ofsted in February 2013.

Parents can email their views to the clerk to governors, Mrs H Devine, at devine.h@welearn365.com or post a letter to the school by midday on November 7.

What makes an academy different:

* Academies get money directly from the government and not the local authority

* They do not have to follow the National Curriculum

* Academies have control of their own budget

* They are publicly funded independent schools

For more information on academies, visit www.gov.uk/browse/education