A PRIMARY school is to become a town’s first academy.
Holley Park Primary, in Oxclose, Washington, will convert to an academy on July 1.
Glenda Wood, business manager at the Ayton Road school, said they did consider a completely new name for the school, but decided it will become Holley Park Academy.
She said the governors had been considering the possibility of becoming an academy for a while and following consultations, applied for the status in July.
Mrs Wood said: “The governors felt the time was right for us to take the opportunity as we are a good school, in a position of strength and able to meet the current conversion criteria.
“We are also a very popular school within the Washington area, being oversubscribed for September 2012.”
The business manager said a lot of hard work has gone into putting the conversion into place.
She said: “It’s not going to mean any changes for the pupils. It will give the school greater control over our budget. We will be able to buy in the services that our children need.”
Mrs Wood said consultations were carried out with everyone involved and there is a lot of support for becoming an academy.
She said: “Being an academy will give us even greater flexibility. As changes take place within the local authority, the time is right to convert while we are in a position of strength.
“We are retaining some of the services that the local authority provides. However, we are out-sourcing other services to local companies who can offer us better services and value for money and meet the needs of our pupils.”
The school uniform will remain the same, with the logo changing from Holley Park Primary School to Holley Park Academy and it will be phased in to avoid parents having extra expense.
Mrs Wood said all staff will transfer over to the new academy trust under the same pay and conditions.