£400k academy boost to Torquay's Westlands school
WESTLANDS School is to become an academy in the new year.
The Plainmoor school decided to apply for academy status from Government after seeing its results improve year on year.
The change will mean the school, which already has a £7million budget, will receive an extra £600,000 directly from Whitehall.
Headteacher Dr Colin Kirkman said he hoped to see about £400,000 of that extra Government cash end up in the school's coffers with the rest being used to pay for services contracted out to Torbay Council.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
He said the change of status would bring greater financial independence to the school which would mean potentially hiring more teachers and improving facilities further.
Dr Kirkman said: "We are a great school with improving results. The biggest reason to become an academy is financial.
"At the moment the Government is not increasing funding into schools. Staffing and inflation costs are going up but it will mean that we'll have more coming into the school. We will do a lot of good with that money for students."
Dr Kirkman said that while before cash was filtered through Torbay Council before it reached schools, now funding will bypass the local authority.
Dr Kirkman added: "Torbay Council really has very little to do with education. There is no educational support left within the local authority. Why should they have £600,000 of our money?"
In the last few months the school has opened six new classrooms, a new sixth form centre underneath the new stand at Torquay United Football ground and a new library.
Dr Kirkman said he would look into putting in more facilities for students and possibly employing more staff.
He said: "We need to sit down with the governors, staff and students to see how best we can improve the education of our young people.
"After going through a big dip in funding when we had to lay off staff, we are now in a much better financial position.
"Our sixth form centre has gone from 240 students to 300 which means we have £300,000 in additional funding.
"Becoming an academy gives us a much greater freedom to manage our own money."
Dr Kirkman said there were still details to sort out before Christmas including a potential name change, new uniforms and a new badge.
A Torbay Council spokesman said: "We will continue to work with all schools , maintained and academies, in the discharge of continuing statutory duties.
"These cover a range of functions relating to school improvement, the planning of the overall education service such the provision of school places across all phases and related capital works, the coordination and delivery of other services such as the Home to School transport service and the provision of a range of services for individual children and parents such as the coordination of admission to school and provision for special educational needs."