A HITCHIN school officially became an academy this week, enabling it to receive more direct funding from Government.

Hitchin Girls’ School was granted academy status on Wednesday, with parents also alerted on that day by letter. It was formally accepted by the Department for Education.

Although the change will make little difference to the day-to-day running of the school, it gives the school greater autonomy in choosing how it is run.

The school will also receive direct funding from Central Government, as opposed to the local authority which is standard practice.

Chairman of governors Colin Minton said: “The governing body of Hitchin Girls’ School is committed to providing the best education possible for students attending the school now and in the future.

“We believe that the benefits available to the school from converting to academy status will help us to continue to achieve this. We will remain an all-ability community school serving the needs of the local community.”

The news follows a six-week consultation starting in April. Following a review of the feedback from parents and staff, governors then voted in favour of the switch in June, and submitted the application to the secretary of state.

It is believed that the school could receive up to �295,000 a year extra.