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Fowey School is all set to become academy

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: February 26, 2014

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FOWEY'S secondary school has been formally told it can become an academy in the same week as Ofsted inspectors reported that it had improved significantly.

Fowey Community College has received confirmation from Education Secretary Michael Gove that he has approved the school's conversion to a sponsored academy.

Head teacher John Perry, who will remain at the helm, said he was delighted to have Mr Gove's approval.

"This is really good news, because now we have an academy order we can start making concrete plans about how we move forward," he said.

On becoming an academy the school will leave Cornwall Council control and be overseen by the Adventure Learning Academy Trust, whose figurehead is David Hopkins, a former chief adviser on school standards to the Secretary of State.

Parents of pupils and other members of the public are now being invited to find out more about the academy plans at two events on March 19.

Representatives of the Adventure Learning Academy Trust will be available to answer questions in sessions at 5pm, for parents, and at 7pm, for the community in general.

On Tuesday Mr Perry met trust representatives including Pat McGovern, who was head teacher at Helston Community College before becoming the trust's regional director.

Mr McGovern will be the academy's day-to-day contact point with the trust. Mr Perry said: "He's been head teacher of two secondary schools in the county and Dean of Education at University College St Mark and St John in Plymouth.

"He's a very successful head, very well regarded and he's one of the reasons I became a head teacher."

The trust has already started work in the background to audit the school, required when any school is taken on as sponsored academies.

Mr Perry said it was hoped the change of status would be complete by June, but it was unlikely staff and students would notice any differences immediately.

"By working with Adventure Learning Academy Trust we'll be offering a really exciting curriculum which is right for the kids of our area because the National Curriculum, frankly, doesn't deliver that," he said. "As an academy we'll be able to help the kids prepare for the kind of lives they want to live instead of the lives someone in London might want to lead, which is slightly different."

On top of this the school, judged by Ofsted inspectors as inadequate last year, has received good news following its latest visit from the monitoring officer. The school has now been advised that a full Ofsted inspection is being recommended which, if successful, would lift Fowey out of the "serious weaknesses" category.

Mr Perry said: "This is a significant improvement. All the staff and students put in an awful lot of work for this to happen."

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  • exteacher  |  February 26 2014, 3:03PM

    Apart from the scandals which have hit the headlines, there is absolutely no evidence that becoming an academy benefits anyone but a few individuals who make money out of it (usually by an increase in salary at the top). The cost of the various services are often higher outside the local authority and, when you read the Ofsted reports for both converter and sponsored academies, they often mention the support given by the local authority. The problem is that the local authority receives no money for that support and thus community schools lose out.