Welwyn Garden City secondary school consults on plans to become an academy

PUBLISHED: 16:07 15 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:44 15 September 2017

Sir Frederic Osborn School headteacher Jed Whelan.

Sir Frederic Osborn School headteacher Jed Whelan.

Danny Loo Photography 2017

A consultation is underway on a proposal to transform a Welwyn Garden City secondary school into an academy and change its name in the process.

Parents and carers are today being notified of the proposal for Sir Frederic Osborn School.

The change would see the school renamed, The Ridgeway, and the intention is for it to re-open as an academy in September 2018.

The current recommendation by the Department for Education is for academies to form close partnerships with other schools to become a Multi Academy Trust.

The Board of Governors at Sir Frederic Osborn School are intending for the school to join the Alban Academies Trust (AAT).

“The school and governors have been working very closely with Sandringham School, lead academy in the AAT for a number of years as we have recognised for a long time that working in partnership is a key element in our mission to become an outstanding school”, the letter to parents and carers reads.

Sir Frederic Osborn School headteacher Jed Whelan told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “I am delighted to announce that Sir Frederic Osborn School has decided to consult on conversion to academy status and join the Alban Academies Trust.

“We want to build on all that is best about our school and provide a strong focus on academic achievement, ensuring every student thrives and is given the tools to be successful in life.

“The Alban Academies Trust wholly match the ambition and drive that we have already embedded into daily life at Sir Frederic Osborn School.

“We have built up well-established ties with Sandringham School, who are the main drivers of the AAT and we have mutual trust and a shared passion for improving pupils’ lives.

“Our conversion to an academy will only extend the excellent support we have received so far and give us access to extra funding, additional staff training and a range of outstanding expertise.

“The intention is to open as a brand new academy, The Ridgeway, on this site in September 2018.”

Alan Gray, CEO of AAT, said: “Our intention is that by working together we expect to deliver significant and rapid progress, resulting in the new academy achieving outstanding standards in the near future.

“We will be pleased to welcome The Ridgeway Academy to our trust.

“We have been building a relationship with Mr Whelan and his staff and pupils for some time and we look forward to them joining.

“We will continue to support the academy by sharing our expertise and knowledge to help them build on the success they have already achieved.

“We believe every child deserves a first-class education and we are confident that we will work collaboratively to support The Ridgeway Academy to provide this.”

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