Governors back move to academy

Silverdale School, Bents Crescent.
Silverdale School, Bents Crescent.
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GOVERNORS at a Sheffield secondary school have voted unanimously to opt out of council control - to become the city’s latest independent academy.

Silverdale School, Bents Green, is now set to become an academy in the autumn, receiving its funding directly from ministers.

Helen Storey, headteacher, said the decision was taken after a thorough discussion of a consultation report.

She said: “The governors will now move forward and seek to sign a funding agreement with the Secretary of State for Education.

“They will also now consider the next steps, including the appointment of legal advisors and a possible timeline of work to be completed that would result in conversion during the autumn term.”

A main factor in Silverdale’s decision has been Government proposals for changes to its sixth-form funding – a factor also highlighted by Tapton, which has gone down the same route.

Ministers have decided to equalise the amount of funding received in future by schools and sixth-form colleges, which will result in less cash for secondaries like Silverdale.

The school estimates it will lose about £350,000 a year by the time the proposals are fully implemented in 2014.

In the short term, schools converting into academies will receive bonuses – in Silverdale’s case the figure will be £647,000 for the 2012-13 academic year.

While that level of increase will not be maintained, Silverdale governors believe academies will continue to be better funded than local authority-maintained schools – though they will have to pay for a variety of services currently provided through the council.