by Hope Wisechild
The consultation on the proposed change to academy status of a local high school will close at noon tomorrow.
Bexhill High School, which moved into new premises in Gunters Lane in November 2010, has asked parents, students and staff to represent their views to the governing body.
The government has made it clear it wants as many schools as possible to become academies, and a number of East Sussex schools are currently going through the same process. Ratton in Eastbourne, Hailsham Community College and Rye Community College are under consultation, and Cavendish School’s governing body recently gave a similar scheme the go-ahead.
Bexhill High School is currently a community school overseen by the local authority. Should the scheme go ahead, the key changes would be a shift to direct funding by the Department for Education and the establishment of a charitable trust to lease the premises from the local authority and to employ the school’s staff.
Concerns raised so far have included the possible impact on pupils with special educational needs, but parents have been assured that the present arrangements, which usually exceed the statutory requirements, will continue at the same standard.
There are no plans to make radical changes to the taught curriculum, or the school day. The make-up of the governing body will not change, and the school will still be subject to OFSTED inspections.
The consultation deadline is Friday March 9 at 12noon, and governors will vote on March 13 2012. If the plan is agreed, the process of change will commence later this year.