School governors vote to go it alone

PUBLISHED: 07:06 13 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:07 24 May 2010

GOVERNORS at a school have agreed to introduce major changes to the way it is run. Leaders of the Kings of Wessex Community School in Cheddar have voted to move away from local government control and switch to Foundation Status, giving them more power and

GOVERNORS at a school have agreed to introduce major changes to the way it is run.Leaders of the Kings of Wessex Community School in Cheddar have voted to move away from local government control and switch to Foundation Status, giving them more power and control than before.The school now has the power to undertake building projects on its own and hire and fire its own staff. Previously Somerset County Council held the responsibility.Governors have decided not to adopt a selection policy, where pupils are picked for the school on merit, despite it being in their powers to do so.Although the school will now employ its own staff, the wages will still be paid by the county council.No new building projects are planned at the moment but, in the future, the school will be able to decide where new classrooms are built, rather than it being decided by the county council.The school will officially take on its new status at the start of the new school year in September.Funding will still be provided by the county council but decisions on how it is spent will change.The school will now have automatic charity status, giving it access to more grants and funding.Governors unanimously voted in the changes after consulting with parents.Chairman Peter Lythgoe said: "We have had a meeting with 30 or 40 parents which was very positive."The status does not mean we are completely breaking away from the local authority, it's more keeping it at arms length."Foundation Status will enable us to build further on the skills of the school and improve the opportunities we provide for our young people.

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