National on the verge of becoming academy

THE COUNTDOWN is on until a final decision on whether Hucknall National Comprehensive School will become an independent academy.

The Dispatch reported exclusively last year that the plan was in the pipeline for the large school on Annesley Road.

Now the head teacher, Dr John Edwards, has revealed the timeline if the groundbreaking step is rubberstamped.

“It is all going through at the moment,” he said. “The final decision is likely to be made by the governors in June.”

If the church school became an academy, it would opt out of Notts County Council control.

Academies are publicly-funded and enjoy a number of freedoms, including the ability to set their own pay and conditions for staff, control over the delivery of the curriculum and being able to set the length of terms and school days.

Last year, the Department of Education produced a document to support the conversion of church schools to academy status.

A full consultation has been undertaken by National with parents, pupils and staff.

Dr Edwards said this “ticked a lot of the boxes” with a view to becoming an academy, which could happen as early as September.

But he stressed that the scheme “was not done and dusted” and added: “I do not have the final say. A decision will be reached in the best interests of the school and the pupils.”

National was founded in 1788 and now has more than 1,100 pupils. It already enjoys specialist status for technology.

It is constantly striving to improve and in the past has opened a state-of-the-art science block and a £400,000 eco-friendly learning centre.

Academy status would not alter the levels of funding it received from the county council.

But there would be top-up funding available and links with business as there are at Bulwell Academy down the road.