High school is considering Academy status

West Craven High School.
West Craven High School.

West Craven High School is considering Academy status as governors plan for the future.

All parents have been sent a letter from Chairman of Governors Malcolm Sterratt outlining the idea and a consultation period opens on Wednesday which will run until December 7th.

In the letter, Mr Sterratt said: “More than 60% of the secondary schools in England are academies already.

“Governors have started looking at whether it is right for West Craven to convert to academy status, and if so, when to do so.

“We are committed to making sure the needs of our students and staff remain paramount, and that if we should decide to make this change there is no disruption to learning.

“We are also committed to avoiding any further change to such things as the school name, uniform and so on.

“We will only make a change to academy status if we are sure it will provide the best possible future for your children at this school, and will retain the distinctive ethos, values and philosophy of West Craven High School.”

Mr Sterratt said the Kelbrook Road school is in a position to choose its future because it is a good school.

West Craven has seen sustained improvement in pupil achievement in recent years, and was put in the top 20% nationally in 2013 by SSAT (The Schools Network) Ltd, formerly the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, for the pace and extent of improvements in GCSE results.

At its last inspection in 2013, the school was also rated “good” by Ofsted with some “outstanding” elements.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson has praised the proposal while Simon Jones from the National Union of Teachers has urged caution.

Mr Stephenson said: “I am delighted that West Craven High are looking at becoming an Academy.

“Academy status gives schools more freedom, allowing them to help each child reach their full potential.

“Over half of England’s secondary schools are now benefitting from Academy status and I feel this would benefit West Craven High.”

Mr Jones said: “Parents should think long and hard about this as there is no evidence that shows being an Academy is actually a good thing.

“More and more are failing and the myth of academies has well and truly been exposed.”