School to look at going it alone

A LEADING school in Portishead could opt out of local council control and be run by its governors Bosses at Gordano School have revealed they are looking

A LEADING school in Portishead could opt out of local council control and be run by its governors Bosses at Gordano School have revealed they are looking at the possibility of becoming a foundation school.The changes would mean although the school would still have to attain the educational and curricular criteria laid down by local education authority, it retains overall responsibility for standards at the school.It would also mean the school could apply for charitable status and manage its own admissions policy and look at ways of improving the curriculum and enhancing its facilities for the community.A mass consultation with parents, staff and students is currently underway and if the plans get the green light it is hoped to become a foundation school this September.The school, which has 180 employees and 1,711 pupils, has an operating budget in excess of £7million annually.Gordano School headteacher Graham Silverthorne said: "We believe that by becoming a foundation school we are better able to influence and control the future direction of the school to improve standards and the educational and other experiences of pupils."We would have a different relationship with the local authority and in essence the governors would become the employers and the landowners of the school."The school would also be able to attract sponsors and work in partnership with other organisations and look at how we trade with North Somerset Council to ensure we are getting best value."At the moment North Somerset Council run the community sports facilities on site and by becoming a foundation school it would allow us to look at how these could be developed further for the school and wider community."Mr Silverthorne said the changes would not effect current staff at the school and that their terms and conditions of employment would remain the same. He also stressed the new admissions policies would not mean students were selected on their ability.Gordano is one of a handful of schools in the district considering moves to become a foundation school.It is understood Worle Community School and Westhaven Community Special School in Weston-super-Mare and Churchill Community School are also looking at changing their status.


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