Academy talks for Catholic schools

Ros Homer, Blackpool secretary for the National Union of Teachers
Ros Homer, Blackpool secretary for the National Union of Teachers
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FIVE Catholic schools in Blackpool have launched a consultation into forming a multi-academy trust.

One high school and four primary schools are each considering the possibility of becoming an academy within the Blackpool Catholic Multi Academy Trust (MAT)

St Mary’s Catholic College, Christ the King Primary, St Bernadette’s Primary, St Cuthbert’s Primary, and St Kentigern’s Catholic Primary Schools are consulting parents, staff and communities on the proposal.

Barry Leyland, chairman of governors for St Mary’s and Christ the King, said: “We are looking at this as one of our options. We think there could be benefits.”

Academies are publicly funded but free from local authority control, instead having their own control over budgets and curriculum.

Ros Homer, the local secretary for the National Union of Teachers (NUT), said: “The NUT’s standpoint is still totally opposed [to academies], we don’t think it’s good for children or teachers.

“But I think these schools want to keep the Catholic schools together as a family.”

If moving towards an MAT is agreed the schools will then approach the Lancaster Roman Catholic Diocese (LRCD) to seek permission to become academies

If it is established, the MAT would be open to other Catholic schools in Blackpool in the future.

The consultation continues until Friday, January 25.

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