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Skerne Park in Darlington celebrates Academy status
SKERNE Park Primary School is celebrating after officially becoming an Academy under the guardianship of Hummersknott Academy Trust.
The new Academy status means that the 350-pupil primary school is now independent of Darlington Council and can make all its own decisions on how its budget is spent and how it implements the national curriculum.
Hummersknott Academy, which has been described by Ofsted as “good with outstanding features,” will now work closely to further develop Skerne Park and to raise standards in the new Academy.
Kate Chisholm, principal of Skerne Park, said: “Skerne Park Academy, under the guidance of the Hummersknott Academy Trust, will be assured of an excellent start as an Academy school.
“We have already benefited from the Trust’s advice in terms of our new staffing structure and development, and we are looking forward to working with Hummersknott increasingly actively in the coming weeks and months.
“The school has a bright and exciting future ahead under the guidance of Hummersknott Academy Trust.
“We are looking forward to sharing in the success of the Academy, and going on to achieve our own successes as a school.”
Academy schools still have to teach core subjects, such as maths, English and science, but enjoy greater freedom in selecting other subjects.
They also receive their funding direct from central government rather than local authorities.
Pat Howarth, principal of Hummersknott Academy, said he was “delighted” that Skerne Park has officially become an Academy under the sponsorship of Hummersknott Academy Trust.
He added: “The move paves the way for some exciting and successful times ahead for the school.
“Under Kate Chisholm’s inspirational leadership, the new Academy has already made some important strides forward covering the staffing, management and leadership of the school.
“As sponsors, we will work closely to ensure that the school achieves the right level of support and guidance that it requires in this exciting transitional time.”
The academy scheme was set up in under the Blair administration in 2000, but numbers have dramatically increased since the coalitions’ introduction of The Academies Act 2010.
There are now more than 1,900 academies in the country.