Waveney school considering plans to become an academy

SIR John Leman High School in Beccles is considering plans to become an academy.

On Monday, headteacher Jeremy Rowe gave parents the chance to have their say on the matter, as he revealed that the move could see the school gain an estimated �220,000 in the first year. He explained that he felt the school had come to a 'T-junction' and needed to decide whether to become an academy or stay under local authority control. Every extra penny in the school goes to the children,' he said. 'To turn out back on that amount of money just for ideological reasons is a disservice for our kids.

'It is about the children, ultimately; if it is right for them it is right for me.'

Earlier this year, The Journal reported that Kirkley High School was about to become Waveney's newest academy, and last week it emerged that Bungay High School was also disccussing the idea.

However, the increasing number of schools looking to take on academy status has worried teaching unions, who are concerned about the speed of the moves and the impact on the rights of teachers.

Graham White, Suffolk secretary for the National Union of Teachers, said: 'The concern is academies do not have to follow the national curriculum; they can alter it.

'They do not have national pay and conditions, or have to follow what is called the Burgundy Book – about sick pay and redundancies. They can operate almost any way they like.'

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Governors at Sir John Leman High School – which takes pupils from the Carlton Colville area – are meeting next week. If they approve the idea, it could become an academy by August 1.

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