Shropshire's Thomas Adams School looking into becoming an academy
Parents and staff at a Shropshire school are being consulted over a plan to become an academy.
The governors of Thomas Adams School in Wem, have agreed, to initiate the process of becoming an academy and to potentially become the lead school in a Multi Academy Trust.
Richard Bray, chairman of governors, said the school, whose headteacher is Liz Dakin, hopes it will be able to join with other local schools to form a Multi Academy Trust, potentially made up of both primary and secondary schools.
Academies are allowed to run independently of local education authorities, with control of their own budgets.
A number of Shropshire schools have already converted to academy status by joining organisations independent of Shropshire Council’s local education authority.
Mr Bray said: "Last year the Government set a date by which all schools should become academies; it then relented on the fixed date but is still encouraging schools to change status.
"Since these pronouncements, the governors have spent time debating the issue and have involved the staff of the school in these decisions.
"At a governors' meeting on March 27 the governing body agreed to initiate the process of becoming an academy and to potentially become the lead school in a Multi Academy Trust.
"The Government, in pressing their academy initiative, is insisting that schools should not be standalone academies but rather part of a group of schools.
"It is therefore our hope that we will be able to join with other local schools to form a Multi Academy Trust, potentially made up of both primary and secondary schools.
"The governors are keen to consult with parents about this new initiative at the very beginning of the process.
"To this end it is planned to hold a meeting for all parents who have students in the school or college."
Academies do not have to follow the national curriculum and have the freedom to set their own term times, although they still have to follow the same rules on admissions, special educational needs and exclusions as other state schools. They also continue to be monitored by Ofsted.
The government had planned to introduce legislation which would have forced schools to become academies but the proposals were abandoned last year.
Liberal Democrat group leader Roger Evans said he didn’t agree with schools becoming academies but said it was not the council’s doing and blamed the government.