A NUMBER of parents today gave their backing to plans for five of Blackpool’s catholic schools to form into an academy trust.
One high school and four primary schools are each considering the possibility of forming one academy, which would give them independence from local authority control and more financial freedom.
St Mary’s Catholic College could join with Christ the King Primary, St Bernadette’s Primary, St Cuthbert’s Primary, and St Kentigern’s Catholic Primary Schools and are currently consulting parents, staff and communities on the proposal.
Outside the gates of Christ the King, in Bathurst Avenue, Grange Park, some parents welcomed the proposals.
Sophia Morgan, 44, of Elgin Place, Grange Park, said: “It’s a good idea for the kids because it’ll get them prepared for going into secondary school.
“It’s positive more than negative, the change would be good. Hopefully it will turn out well because it gives young people an incentive to try to achieve a little bit more.
“These schools are trying to instil that work is extra important into the kids, and I’m trying to instil that in my little boy too.”
Amanda Ashton, 34, of Grange Road, Layton, added: “Hopefully it’ll bring more people to the school because it’ll get them more noticed.
“It’ll give them more money too.”
Scott Shaw, 38, of Whitemoss Avenue, Normoss, said: “There’s a set curriculum they have to teach the children so I don’t know if that would change, but it’s a good school and it’s got a good child to teacher ratio.”
Another parent, who did not wish to be named, said: “I feel all right about it.
“My son goes to Christ the King and my daughter goes to St Mary’s.
“With the new building going up there the schools are closely linked anyway.
“That said the National Union of Teachers don’t like academies and think it’s detrimental to teaching.”
Academies are publicly funded but free from local authority control, instead having their own control over budgets and curriculum.
Sarah Smith, headteacher at Christ The King, told The Gazette: “The consultation is ongoing and we’re very keen to hear from parents.
“We had a meeting about it one afternoon which was well attended and we had some good questions for the governors to answer.”
The consultation continues until Friday January 25.