Diss High explores academy route

A south Norfolk high school has taken a step towards more independence after beginning a consultation on whether it should become an academy.

Governors at Diss High School are seeking the views of staff, students, parents, and the community after the coalition government changed the criteria for schools wishing to become academies.

The news from Diss comes after Norfolk's only state boarding school - Wymondham College - announced this week that it was to become an academy following negotiations with the Department for Education.

The consultation period at Diss High School will run throughout February, after which the board of governors will decide on whether to go down the academy route to be directly funded by the government rather than Norfolk County Council.

Tony Billett, chair of governors, said: 'The government has recently opened up academy status to outstanding and good schools and we feel that it is only right to explore the implications for the school of becoming an academy.'

'I would encourage all staff, students and parents, and other individuals or organisations with an interest in the school, to let us know their views so that the consultation is as wide as possible and the decision reached is the right one for the school.'

The school, which was rated 'good' in its last Ofsted inspection in 2008 achieved record high grades in its A-level and GCSE results last year under the supervision of headteacher Jan Hunt and her team. The school has been a specialist humanities college since 2005, where it focuses on English and citizenship.

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Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, announced new legislation last year for more schools to become academies, which are usually established by sponsors from business, faith or voluntary groups. The scheme previously focused on poor performing institutions.

For more information about the academy schools programme, visit www.education.gov.uk/academies