Baldock’s Knights Templar in academy status bid

A SECONDARY school recently rated as outstanding by Ofsted will become an academy, pending government approval.

Knights Templar School, in Baldock, hope to make the change on April 1 after a series of consultations and a unanimous vote from the school’s governors last week.

Andrew Pickering, head teacher at the school, said: “Governors looked at the detailed implications of Academy status for this school.

“Having done so, we believe that such a move will benefit our pupils.”

Academy status means that the school will have more financial freedom, as they will receive funding directly from central government, and control over the curriculum.

The school would also directly employ staff, whereas Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) previously employed workers and teachers and Knights Templar would also have more control over its land and buildings.

Mr Pickering added: “The advantage is that we will have more flexibility to take our own educational decisions, and to accept, or not, future changes which central or local government might introduce.

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“In particular, we are firmly committed to remain an all-ability comprehensive school serving the needs of the community of Baldock and its nearby villages, as at present.

“Governors have kept parents informed, have answered email queries and held a special meeting to discuss the proposal, attended by about 50 people.

Many interesting and penetrating questions were asked, but nobody opposed the change, and many welcomed it.”

Cllr Michael Muir, who represents Letchworth East and Baldock on HCC, has welcomed the move.

He said: “It’s a good move for the school and the pupils.

“I know the head and the governors all back it so I wish them every success and I’m quite sure they will succeed and go from strength to strength.”

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