Improving school is second in city to jump ship

HAPPY From left, Joshua Trubridge, Harry Warren, Kirsten Wade, headteacher Niel McLeod, Ellie Murray, Max Paddon and Alyssa O'Brien-Ewart.     Picture: Sarah Standing (110809-5372)
HAPPY From left, Joshua Trubridge, Harry Warren, Kirsten Wade, headteacher Niel McLeod, Ellie Murray, Max Paddon and Alyssa O'Brien-Ewart. Picture: Sarah Standing (110809-5372)
Church of England has issued new advice to its school on transphobic bullying. Picture: PA Wire/Press Association.

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MILTONCROSS School could become an academy as early as September, according to its headteacher.

Niel McLeod said his decision to join forces with the Academies Enterprise Trust – which has four academies in Essex and three in London, with two on the Isle of Wight due to open this September – was a ‘proactive’ step as the government changes the way it funds schools.

From April it will fund schools directly, instead of channelling it through councils who hold on to about 10 per cent to run a range of city-wide services.

Mr McLeod said: ‘The AET shares our vision and is highly in tune with the way we work in Portsmouth, that is, providing community-based education for everyone.

‘Our new partnership would also give us access to expertise and support across all AET academies in the country, so we can continue to raise standards.’

Miltoncross is celebrating an improved ‘satisfactory’ Ofsted report. It’s a far cry from the time when Mr McLeod joined the school five years ago, after it narrowly escaped being placed in special measures.

As soon as the government gives the green light, parents at Miltoncross will take part in a formal consultation on matters such as the school name and uniform.

Mayfield headteacher Derek Trimmer, former chairman of the Portsmouth Collaborative – a group representing six city schools – said: ‘A group like AET could have a significant role to play in the future in terms of raising academic standards across a cluster of schools in Portsmouth.’