Staff could go as school as academy bid turned down

A SCHOOL has warned that it could be forced to make staff cuts to balance its books after its bid for academy status was blocked.

Bourne Grammar School cannot apply to become an academy because it needs consent from Bourne United Charities, which owns part of the school site.

The charity has refused to give its permission and headteacher Jonathan Maddox is now hoping to arrange a meeting to salvage the situation.

Mr Maddox said: “Without academy status we would be in a desperate situation.

“The only way we can avoid that is to make staff cuts and the governors have approved that.

“We will also be looking at offering fewer GCSE subject options too.

“We have to make strategic decisions to balance our reduced income against our expenditure and the children will suffer.”

The school has an annual budget of about £4m but Mr Maddox expects to get slightly less than this for the 2011/12 financial year. He hoped that academy status would have brought in an extra £450,000.

When Bourne United Charities met on Monday, the organisation decided not to give consent but Mr Maddox says the reasons are unclear.

The governors carried out a consultation in autumn last year after deciding to go for academy status in July.

Lincolnshire County Council owns all the school buildings and the north side of the site but the south was bought by Bourne United Charities in the 1920s.

It was believed this land had been put in trust to the Bourne Education Foundation but it was recently discovered that the deeds were still in the name of Bourne United Charities.

Bourne United Charities said it was writing to the school to explain its decision.

The change in status frees schools from local authority control, giving them power to set their own curriculum, pay and conditions for staff and admissions policies.