Governors of George Tomlinson Secondary School in Kearsley have been in discussions with Bolton Council about the possibility of becoming an academy. Today the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) confirmed their approval to further develop these plans.
Chair of Governors at the school, Mrs Debra Barlow, said; “We are excited about the prospect of becoming an academy and looking forward to developing plans further with the sponsors and the council. It’s really important to all of us that our pupils, parents, staff and the community play a big part in shaping the future of our school.”
The proposed sponsors are Bolton University, Bolton Council and one of the UK’s leading educational improvement organisations, Northern Education. Initial plans are for the academy to be as inclusive as possible and offer some additional opportunities for pupils up to the age of nineteen but full proposals will be developed over the coming months.
The council will consult fully with everyone concerned in the autumn term on the proposal to close the school in August next year so it can reopen as an academy in September 2010. Plans for the academy will also be subjected to a rigorous consultation exercise led by the sponsors. In the meantime there are no changes proposed at the school and it will continue to operate as normal.
An academy is a new kind of school set up between the government and a sponsor or sponsors, with the vision to deliver a state-of-the-art school building, new facilities, specialist subjects and ultimately to raise standards of attainment and the life chances of young people.
Executive Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Ebrahim Adia, said: “We are committed to transforming education in Bolton and academies are an important part of our plans for the town. The governing body is supporting plans for this academy with the knowledge that the sponsors would bring a wealth of expertise in education to give children at the school the very best opportunities for the future.”