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Priory could join list of academy schools in city

PARENTS and staff will get the chance to have their say on the future of Priory School, which governors want to turn into an Academy.

Governors have chosen The Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) as the preferred sponsor for the Southsea-based school.

Last year, Priory celebrated record GCSE results, with a 13 per cent increase in the proportion of students achieving the gold standard of five A* to C grades, including English and maths.

But the school was also given a ‘notice to improve’ in an Ofsted inspection in January last year.

James Humphries, headteacher at Priory School said: ‘We have been talking about this for quite a long time.

‘What we are looking for is somebody who can support the school improvement. That’s what we need.

‘We need capacity for school improvement. We need support in maths particularly and we also need a level of challenge and support that we used to have.

‘AET are part of a very big network of schools across the region.

‘I think it’s definitely the next bit of the journey for us.’

He added: ‘This option will be able to provide us with the best professional development, best support and challenge that we can get hold of. That’s why we are doing this.

‘We aren’t doing it for money – we never have done and we never would do.

‘We believe this will have a number of benefits, especially to continue to raise educational standards across the school.’

But Jon Woods, spokesman for Portsmouth Trades Council which represents some staff at the school, said: ‘We have been concerned with the academy programme right from the beginning.

‘There is the ability for schools to choose their own admissions and exclusions policy. There have been recent reports showing that academies tend to filter out pupils who may not produce the best exam results. But what’s really important is that all the children in Portsmouth get a good education.’

A public meeting is being held at the school at 6pm tomorrow to give parents, staff and pupils a chance to find out more about the proposals. A public consultation will also begin.

 

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