FERNHURST Primary School is looking forward to exciting developments at the start of the next academic year.
In September, the school is to become a member of the University of Chichester Academy Trust (CAT).
It will be the sixth school to join the family of academies in the region which covers both West Sussex and Hampshire.
The chairman of Fernhurst Primary School governors, Dr Chris Taylor said: “We gave careful consideration to what is best for the children before taking the decision to convert to academy status and our vote was unanimous and fully supported by the headteacher and staff. “This is an opportunity to have greater control over our future direction and it is exciting to be taking this step with a university academy sponsor to support us.”
Headteacher Gary Parkes was equally pleased. “We are very proud of our school and have high expectations for all the pupils.
“We believe the expertise provided by CAT, the links with the university’s department of education and the opportunity to share good practice with other schools in the multi-academy trust will help us to ensure that every child meets their full potential.”
An academy is an independent, state-funded school that is detached from local authority control and receives funding directly from the Education Funding Agency at the Department for Education.
The University of Chichester was approved as an academy sponsor in the summer of 2012.
It was a ‘natural step’ for the university to become involved in the academies programme as its department of education has extensive links with schools and is noted for its professional learning programme for teachers, high-quality education research and initial teacher training that is recognised as Outstanding by Ofsted.
Fernhurst Primary has this term extended its accommodation and opened two additional classrooms to increase its total number of classes to seven, teaching children from Reception to Year 6.