Academy plans given go-ahead

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GOVERNORS have given the go-ahead to plans to turn a Sheffield secondary school into an academy – after a meeting lasting more than three hours.

Bradfield School in Worrall is set to opt out of local authority control in November, following secondaries such as Yewlands in Grenoside and King Ecgbert in Dore.

Deborah Eaton, chair of governors, said there had been a full and open debate with arguments both for and against the proposals.

The school hopes that going down the academy route will enable it to open its own sixth form – a proposal Sheffield Council has in the past opposed, saying the north of the city already has enough post-16 places.

Mrs Eaton said: “We were aware our decision had to be made in the long-term strategic best interests of students, future students, parents, staff and the community, but we also had to take into account the changing educational landscape in Sheffield and the impact this could have on the school in the future.”

Mrs Eaton said there was still a great deal of work to be done if plans for a sixth form were to go ahead.

She said: “We will be exploring the different academy models we could adopt.

“I met Dr Sonia Sharp from the authority last week and we discussed proposals that would give us a sixth form on the site.

“Clearly this proposal is in the early stages and governors need to have much more information to decide whether it would be in our best interests.”

Despite its new independence Bradfield still intends to work closely with other schools in the north-west of the city.

Governors are to meet on March 22 to discuss with Dr Sharp, council executive director for children, young people and families, how such future collaboration would work.