Thursday, 21 May 2009
Belhus Chase Secondary School in Aveley is to become an academy.
The results of consultations held over the past few months were reported to Thurrock Council's Cabinet on Wednesday (20 May) evening and members agreed to the "closure" of the school and the "opening" of an academy.
Members were told that of the 48 responses, 43 were from parents, two from governors, five from staff and three from other interested individuals.
Of these 32 supported the proposal that Belhus Chase become an academy, 12 didn't know and four were against.
Sponsors of the new academy will be the Ormiston Trust - which also supports the Gateway Academy in Tilbury - and South East Essex College, which is leading on the new further- and higher-education campus in Grays.
The meeting was told that Belhus Chase school has made significant improvement in the percentage of pupils gaining five A* to C GCSE grades although the percentages in English and maths was below the target set nationally last year.
Speaking afterwards, Cllr Sue MacPherson, the cabinet member for Children's Services, said: "Academy status will bring an additional dimension to the way in which the school can increase the life chances of the young people within the Aveley and Purfleet area.
"Academy status no longer has the stigma of being a 'failing' school. In fact Belhus Chase is among the top three per cent in the country for 'value added' scores, comparing pupils' performance when they start and when they leave.
"This decision will give young people in the far west of Thurrock the chance to have a purpose-built education facility closer to their homes."
Academies are publicly funded but independently managed schools with the Government meeting the capital and running costs and sponsors playing a major role in their operation and development.
They are not maintained by local councils, but directly funded by the Government.