Sunderland primary school wants to become an academy

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A THIRD Sunderland primary school is to become an academy.

Redby Primary School, on Fulwell Road, will open up for the new academic year as Redby Primary Academy.

However, headteacher Val Shield said for pupils, teachers and parents it will be business as usual at the school.

“This is not about rebranding Redby,” she said. “We like this brand. We are happy with who we are.

“It is more about being in control of our own destiny.

“We will be able be able to focus on what is most needed for our own school.”

She added: “The local authority is very good, but it has dozens of schools to think about.

“We want to be able to think about just what is right for our children and what is best for one school, might not necessarily be best for other schools, they are not all the same, each school is unique.”

Mrs Shield said the only change to the look of Redby will be the word school becoming academy on the logo.

But this will be phased in so parents do not need to rush out and buy new uniforms.

Redby will follow in the footsteps of Town End Academy and neighbouring Bexhill Academy, which were both awarded such status earlier this year to be run by Bexhill and Town End Academies Ltd.

Although they are two separate schools, they are run side by side with Teresa Laybourne as headteacher of both.

Wearside also has three secondary academies, Red House, Castle View and Academy 360.

However, unlike the primaries, these are still under local authority control.

As with Town End Academy, Redby was able to apply to become a convertor academy, designed by the Government to allow the most successful schools with glowing Ofsted reports, to take greater control of their affairs.

Mrs Shield said she carried out extensive consultations with governors, staff and parents who were all in favour of applying for academy status.

She believes the main benefits will be getting funding directly from the Government, and greater freedom to set the curriculum to meet the individual needs of pupils.

Twitter: @SunEchoSchools