Charity fears ‘no way back’ if academy bid succeeds

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A CHARITY says it blocked a school’s bid for academy status because it fears there will be “no way back” if the new academies fail.

Bourne United Charities has refused to support Bourne Grammar School’s academy application to become an academy, and is able to block the move because it owns part of the school site.

The school says not becoming an academy will mean missing out on £450,000 of funding next year, forcing it to consider staff cuts and cutting back on courses.

A charity statement said: “Our role in the Bourne United Charities is to seek to guarantee the education historically offered by Bourne Grammar School not only in the short-term, but for the longer term.

“We need to ask the question:’Do we want a grammar school in the town or not?’

“A grammar school is the only way to ensure that there is a broad and rich opportunity for education in the town at secondary level. There is no assured way back should academies prove unsustainable either politically or economically.

“The many educational changes over the past 20 years have worked to a lesser or greater degree because the 1944 Education Act provided a framework of recognised parameters within which education operated.

“Academies have changed this by ending financial and administrative accountability to local democratically elected bodies such as the town council and the education authority.”

The charity said members voted eight to four against a propsal to support Bourne Grammar’s bid for academy status