Published On: Fri, Mar 25th, 2011

Five Walsall schools set to become academies

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Five schools in Walsall are expected to have become academies by May 1, it was revealed today.

Ryders Hayes Community School and Hatherton Primary are the latest schools opting out of local authority control.

Ryders Hayes, in Gilpin Crescent, Pelsall, is expected to turn into an academy on April 1 and plans to hold a balloon launch to mark the occasion.

Headteacher Jo Speller said the move would give the school greater freedom over the curriculum and allow it to move forward.

Mrs Speller, who has been head for six years, said: “We are converting as an outstanding primary school. We believe this is a way to further develop and secure the excellent provision.

“It’s a way to move the school forward. It will provide the school with some additional freedom over the curriculum.

“It has been decided after a long period of consideration and consultation with governors, parents and staff.”

A report to Walsall’s school forum, which meets on Wednesday at Blakenall Village Centre, says Hatherton Primary School, in Bloxwich Lane, and Shire Oak School, in Lichfield Road, are also expected to become academies from April 1.

And from May 1, Queen Mary’s High School, in Upper Forster Street, and Queen Mary’s Grammar School, in Sutton Road, will also gain academy status.

Both are rated as outstanding.

Existing academies in Walsall include The Grace Academy, in Herberts Park Road, Shelfield Community Academy, in Broad Way, and Park Hall Infants Academy, in Park Hall Road.

The government’s Academies Bill came into force last July, encouraging schools to become academies. It means staff and governors have more control.

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