THE DIOCESE OF GUILDFORD has announced today that it has been approved by the Department for Education (DfE) to set up an academy trust to sponsor The Holme Church of England Controlled Primary School, Headley, from 1 September 2013.
Staff and parents have been informed of the change to the schoolâ€™s status which will see it leave local authority control and be run by the new academy trust which will receive direct funding from the DfE.
Director of Education for the Diocese of Guildford Derek Holbird said: â€œWe are delighted to be given this opportunity to work with the pupils, staff, parents and local community to ensure the highest possible standard of education for all pupils.
â€œThe school is at the heart of a very close knit community and we want to draw on the support of the church, local organisations and businesses to enhance the experiences and opportunities provided for the pupils.
â€œIt is evident from monitoring visits by Her Majestyâ€™s Inspectors that the school is making good progress and there is clear improvement in all key areas. We are particularly impressed by the commitment of the staff and their determination to do the very best for each child.
â€œWe value the support Hampshire County Council has provided and are confident that the school is now in a position to make sustained, continued improvement.â€
The Holme will be one of two new academies to be opened by the diocese in September. A further four are expected to follow in January. The academies will become part of the Guildford Education Trust under trustees who are accountable for standards and the provision of support services.
John Coughlan, Director of Childrenâ€™s Services for Hampshire said: â€˜We are very pleased with the progress The Holme CE Primary School has made since last July.
"The tremendous efforts of the staff and children together with support from local authority officers, has enabled the school to be well on the way to making the improvements necessary.
"As a local authority we work closely with the Diocese of Guildford and this will continue to ensure a smooth transition to academy status in the interests of the children.
"Once the school is an academy, we will continue to act in our role as â€˜champion for children and familiesâ€™ so the children at The Holme receive the high quality of education they deserve.â€™"
The school was placed in Special Measures following an Ofsted Inspection in June 2012, when the quality of education was judged to be â€˜inadequateâ€™. Hampshire Local Authority used their statutory powers to replace the governing body with an Interim Executive Board and seconded experienced headteachers to provide temporary leadership for the school.
A set of meetings has now been planned to inform staff and parents about the transition process and moves are underway to recruit an interim headteacher.