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College drops plans to become academy
Carlton Bolling College has ditched its ambitions of becoming an independent academy.
Coun David Ward
The turnaround was decided at last week's governors' meeting where it was decided to build on current progress rather than spend time bidding to opt out of the Education Bradford-run schools system and be run by the Edutrust Foundation, which organises funding from the private sector.
Councillor David Ward (Lib Dem, Idle and Thackley) who is a governor at the school, on Undercliffe Lane, explained: "We wanted to quash the rumours. We debated the matter and agreed unanimously to withdraw our expression of interest.
"We are very happy with the way we are progressing and we do not want that to be disrupted."
Barbara Sunderland, chairman of governors, said: "The school has been very successful in recent times. We have been given specialised school status and our GCSEs results are up.
"The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) have put us into the top 100 improving schools. The governors are very confident in the present management arrangements and are sure that the students in our community are getting the best possible opportunities at the present time.
"Both the Local Education Authority and the DfES have congratulated the school on the strong progress that has been made in recent times, we therefore do not feel that becoming an academy is appropriate for us."
In contrast, plans to turn Rhodesway School into academy are continuing at pace.
The school, whose acting head is Nigel Jepson who is also the executive head at Carlton Bolling College, has been targeted by Lord Amir Bhatia who is the chairman of the British Edutrust Foundation.
The Edutrust has appointed Tribal as the project management company for the scheme. Tribal, which is a public services support company, has project-led seven other academies throughout the country. And research is currently being carried out as part of the feasibility process which should be submitted to the DfES next summer.
The feasibility process will involve public meetings and presentations to the local community as well as stakeholders and staff. Work is underway to come up with plans and the costings for the proposed academy, including the curriculum and opportunities for involvement by the wider Rhodesway community.
Lord Bhatia said: "We know from our research that a number of students still do not realise their full potential whilst at school.
"We want to provide an exciting, yet challenging learning environment where students will be eager to learn and have a desire to achieve and set goals for their future development. Our ethos is based on high aspirations and high expectations."
The Edutrust is hoping to get approval from the DfES so that the new academy can open in September 2008.