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Decision to opt out was made ‘for the pupils’
A SPECIAL school in Worc-ester has become an academy.
Regency High, in Carnforth Drive, Warndon, moved out of local authority control on October 1, after school governors decided it was in the school’s best interests to run its own affairs.
The governors also discussed whether remaining under local authority control could be detrimental to the school as educational services were increasingly outsourced to the private sector.
However, Regency High must still follow the authority’s admissions policy as it still has certain statutory requirements regarding the education of pupils with special educational needs.
Headteacher Frank Steel said: “We felt becoming an academy would give us more flexibility and more creativity in terms of delivering the curriculum.
“We will be able to select elements of the curriculum that are appropriate and meaningful to our pupils rather than covering stuff that doesn’t engage them.
“The local authority is becoming more of a commissioner of services rather than a provider so schools are be-ing encouraged to become more self-reliant and self-sufficient.
“I think it’s been the direction of travel for quite some time that schools have been expected to provide more services themselves and develop opportunities and I think that will continue.
“It does allow certain flexibility to purchase resources at a more competitive price although we are still purchasing the vast majority from the local education authority and we will continue to do so.”
Mr Steel said there had been little obvious change for pupils or parents.
He said: “One of the things the governors were keen on was that there were no initial major changes and we would maintain the same path for as long as these (LEA-provided) services were provided.”
The school was able to convert to an academy because its previous Ofsted inspection found it to be good with some outstanding features.
The Department of Education allows well-performing schools to choose to be directly funded from Whitehall.
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