School set to become academy

Harriet Trable, 12 and Chris Ashworth, 12 with Headteacher Jon Hayes at Albany Science College which is soon to become Albany Academy
Harriet Trable, 12 and Chris Ashworth, 12 with Headteacher Jon Hayes at Albany Science College which is soon to become Albany Academy

Albany Science College is set to become Chorley’s newest academy.

Bosses at Albany Academy, as it will be known from August 1, said they were making the changes to ‘best serve the needs of the pupils now and in the future.’

It will mean the school is no longer under the control of the local authority, Lancashire County Council, and is free to make changes affecting the length of terms and school days and what they can offer in the curriculum.

Staff conditions and pay could also have been changed under the move, although a deal has been struck for that to stay the same.

Albany joins Bishop Rawstorne Church of England Academy in Croston and St Michael’s in making the change.

Headteacher Jon Hayes said: “The idea is to give us more flexibility in the curriculum and what we can offer.

“In terms of pupils and parents there will be no noticeable difference from day to day.

“It’s just a way for us to have more control over the school.

“We got the go ahead from the Department for Education earlier this year and then we had to go through various other channels. The governing body met on Wednesday to formally vote for it.”

Changes will be made over the summer holidays for pupils coming back to the school on September 1.

Mr Hayes said: “It’s a new start for the school. We have worked hard for this and it really opens up some more options for us.

“It means that we can be more creative in different pathways for the pupils, maybe off our site, whether it will be at places like Runshaw College, or by offering new qualifications.

“It opens up for us to be able to work together more.

“Schools have been trying to move away from the one size fits all policy for a while now.”

There will be no chances to the uniform for current pupils, and funding will go straight to the academy for staff and governors to decide how it is spent.

Mr Hayes said: “In short the pupils will continue to be taught by the same staff in the same school with the same high standards and values - but we will be better resourced and have greater freedom.”