Cromer High School academy bid

Cromer High School is on track to become an academy in September after the move was backed by governors.

The switch of status loosens the links with the local education authority, Norfolk County Council, and gives more power to the school to decide its priorities.

An extra �160,000 worth of funding is also expected according to Department for Education guidelines said governors chairman David Fincham.

The 529-pupil school which has 83 staff is currently a sports college, having earlier been a language college.

Mr Fincham said it would continue to base its ethos on its 'sports specialism with languages as a strong second subject.'

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The extra funding and new status would enable the school to:

? maintain staffing at the most effective staff-student ratio

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?provide educational resources to enhance classroom learning

?introduce wider extra-curricular activities to broaden students' life experiences

?improve facilities and social areas for students

Cromer High had been judged 'good with outstanding features' by Ofsted inspectors, qualifying it to apply for academy status.

Governors had assessed the possible implications for the school and had consulted parents and staff.

They decided to proceed with the bid after considering 'a number of issues including finance, staffing, governance and community relationships.'

Mr Fincham added: 'We believe that achieving academy status would place the school in a stronger position to meet the challenges ahead and thus provide the best opportunities for our students.

'We would have more resources at our disposal, more freedom and greater choice in our continuing efforts to further improve and develop our school

'Governors believe this will allow us to develop even better relationships with our local schools, while improving our ability to improve partnership working with other schools and the local education authority.'

The final decision lay with the Secretary of State for Education. If successful, academy status would be introduced in September at the earliest, or could be delayed to a later date.

Asked if there was likely to be any extra re-branding costs at the school through signage or uniform changes, Mr Fincham added: 'There have been no discussions on the school uniform or need for change. As part of the application process we will continue to undertake consultation as to any possible changes, and at the heart of all these discussions will be ensuring no increased financial burden on parents.'

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