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Guildford diocese welcomes fourth academy

Date: 04 July 2013

ANOTHER SURREY SCHOOL has been granted academy status by the Department of Education (DfE) this year, and is to be sponsored by the Diocese of Guildford from October.

St Mary's C of E Primary School, Chiddingfold is the fourth school in the diocese to transfer to academy status, joining St John's Primary School in Dorking, St Paul's Primary School in Addlestone and The Holme Primary School in Headley, near Bordon. All four academies will leave local authority control and join academy trusts which receive direct funding from the DfE.

Director of Education for the Diocese of Guildford Derek Holbird said: 'We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with the pupils, staff, parents and local community to ensure the highest possible standard of education for all pupils.

'The 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.'

'Close working partnership'

The school was judged to be 'inadequate' following an Ofsted Inspection in December 2012 and the diocese was invited to sponsor the school following detailed checks by the DfE to ensure that it has the capacity to work with the school to ensure continued and sustained improvement.

Joint headteachers Joanna Jones and Nikki Mackie said: 'We welcome the opportunity to further develop our close working partnership with Guildford Diocese and look forward to bringing an end to the instability St Mary's has seen in recent years.

'Staff and Governors have worked relentlessly since our Ofsted inspection. By combining our efforts we can already see the positive impact this is having on the children in our school. We have made huge progress, in a short time, against the priorities identified by the school and the inspection team.

'Whilst the status of St Mary's will change in the autumn our focus on school improvement and good progress for children will remain as strong as it has been over the last few months.'

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