Kenilworth School governors to vote on academy plans next week

The entrance of Kenilworth School
The entrance of Kenilworth School

Kenilworth School and Sixth Form’s possible conversion to academy status could become a step closer to reality when governors vote on the idea next week.

The school announced its desire to become an academy in March, and since then governors have been talking to parents, teachers, and nearby primary schools about the plans and what their opinions are.

And now a draft structure has been drawn up by the school’s 15 governors ahead of the vote on Tuesday November 8.

Chair of the school’s governors Sue Casey said: “It’s about getting the structure in place that’s right for the children of Kenilworth.

“If it does pass then there’s a number of steps we need to go through.

“We’ll notify the Department for Education about our decision, and we’d work with them to prepare a final application to government.

“We wouldn’t put a timescale on it at this stage because it would be unrealistic.

“All the governors have researched this as thoroughly as they can and they will vote for what they feel is right for Kenilworth School.

“We haven’t had huge numbers of people contacting us because I don’t think academy conversions are as big a deal as they used to be - so many other places have done it.”

If the vote passes, the school will apply to become the head of a multi-academy trust (MAT), which would have other schools within it although governors do not yet know which schools would join them.

In an open letter published on the school’s website, Sue added: “We do not plan to be a big MAT and as the sponsoring school will be very careful with whom we choose to partner.

“Whilst secondary education is our strength we have not ruled out partnering with primary schools in the future.”

The school and sixth form are planning to merge and move to a new site near Southcrest Farm, which would be able to take 2,100 pupils.

Unlike conventional schools, academies are not overseen by the local authority and can set their own curriculum, admissions policy, pay for teachers and term times.

They receive their money from central government rather than local councils.

Governors have said if the school does become an academy, it will only take pupils from Kenilworth and not from the planned developments at Kings Hill to the north, which are part of Warwick district’s Local Plan.

If it did not convert, the school may be forced to take pupils from Kings Hill as the school would have to use the county council’s catchment area.

Anyone wishing to share their views or ask a question about the academy conversion should email academy.conversion@ksnadmin.ksn.org.uk or should look at the FAQ document on the school’s website.