BREAKING NEWS: Sir Harry Smith Community College, Whittlesey, granted Academy status

SIR Harry Smith Community College, in Whittlesey, has today announced that it has been granted Academy status and will convert on Sunday.

Education Secretary Michael Gove notified Cambridgeshire County Council yesterday that he would enter into a funding agreement to enable the school to convert.

It is the second of Fenland secondary schools to be granted academy status but is the first to convert under the direction of the community rather than under the umbrella of an Academy chain.

A statement released by the school tonight said: “The school will retain the Community College name but instead of being managed by the governing body and the county council it will be operated by the Sir Harry Smith Academy Trust.

“The Trust is a charitable company formed by members of the governing body and receives its funds directly from the Government.

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“In addition, the trust has the freedom to provide a ‘broad and balanced’ curriculum meaning that it can tailor the education it provides to best fit the needs of the students.”

Thomas Clarkson Community College, in Wisbech, also converts to Academy status on Sunday but will be sponsored by the Brooke Weston Partnership which will run the school with its governing body.

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On hearing the news NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay said: “I very much welcome this positive announcement of Academy status for Sir Harry Smith Community College.

“It builds on the successful leadership of the senior staff and governing body over recent years and will enable the college to better develop the talents of students in Whittlesey and the surrounding area to fulfil their full potential in the future.”

The College is currently mid-way through a �10million refurbishment programme under the Building Schools for the Future scheme, which will provide additional teaching facilities and make the college suitable for 21st century teaching and learning.

In its most recent Ofsted inspection Sir Harry Smith was assessed as ‘Good with Outstanding Features’, particularly the level of care, guidance and support for students.

The College qualified for conversion under the 2010 Academies Act.

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