All change for Welwyn Garden City school
PUBLISHED: 09:53 21 September 2016
Plans are in the pipeline to change the status of a Welwyn Garden City school, making it more independent from the local authority and giving it more freedom to source funding.
Governors at Sir Frederic Osborn School (SFO) are hoping it can become both a foundation school and an academy.
SFO currently works closely with Sandringham School in St Albans, which is designated ‘outstanding’.
In 2011 Sandringham School became an academy and in July 2016 it was approved to become a sponsor academy.
The governing bodies are now considering SFO converting to an academy, sponsored by Sandringham.
In the meantime, SFO governors believe SFO is ready to become a foundation school, giving it more independence from the county council.
With this status, the governing body would become the employer of the staff, the owner of the land and buildings and the admissions authority for the school.
The governing body would gain charity status and would therefore be able to claim gift aid and mandatory relief from non-domestic rates.
In a statement on the school’s website, it was noted: “The governors consider that the increased independence that these things bring will assist the school in its continued improvement of teaching and learning.
“Becoming a foundation school may offer the governing body the ability to bid for grants and funding streams that are not currently available because as a community school the school is not an exempt charity.
“The governing body considers it important to ensure that as many funding opportunities are available to the school.”
It was added: “Greater autonomy and independence will give the governing body greater freedom to shape the strategic future direction of the school.”
The school is currently going through a consultation period with regards to its proposal to for foundation status.
This period started on September 7 and will finish on October 5. Email your views to firstname.lastname@example.org