Priory School in Southsea the latest to become academy in bid to improve

Priory School in Southsea has become and academy. Pictured is headteacher James Humphries with two pupils
Priory School in Southsea has become and academy. Pictured is headteacher James Humphries with two pupils
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A secondary school has become an academy in a bid to improve.

Priory School, in Southsea, converted to academy status following consultations with parents, pupils and staff.

The decision will see the school sponsored by Bohunt Education Trust (BET) instead of being run by Portsmouth City Council.

BET is the academy operator for Bohunt School in Liphook, which was rated outstanding in every category in its last Ofsted inspection.

Senior leaders from BET have been working with Priory over the past year, providing support to the school, which has more than 1,200 pupils.

Improvements have already been made, with 47 per cent of Priory pupils last month achieving the gold standard of five or more A*-C grades including maths and English – a six per cent rise on 2013.

Priory headteacher James Humphries, believes the partnership will deliver more success.

He said: ‘We are delighted that Priory is moving forward to work as part of the Bohunt Education Trust. The governing body has spent a long time trying to find the right partner and we are excited that this opportunity has come to fruition.

‘On top of the marked improvement in exam results, attendance and behaviour over the past three years, our work with BET will help us to make even swifter improvements to the education of young people in Southsea.’

Neil Strowger, chief executive of BET, said: ‘Over the past year we have been working closely with Priory and we are delighted to be moving forward as the sponsor.

‘We have already seen a marked improvement in GCSE results and we will be working tirelessly to continue to raise academic standards, as well as introducing a broad programme of extra-curricular activities so pupils develop the skills to thrive in the 21st century.’

Education minister Lord Nash said: ‘I am delighted that an outstanding school like Bohunt is sharing their experience and knowledge with other schools as an academy sponsor. Starting with Priory in Portsmouth, I am confident they will help improve the standard of education in schools they oversee, benefiting more pupils and ensuring they are prepared for life in modern Britain.’

Academies are publicly-funded schools not controlled directly by the local authority. They can set their own pay and conditions and do not have to follow the national curriculum.