Letchworth school to become Garden City Academy

A SCHOOL which has been serving a community for five decades is to change its name and become an academy.

Radburn Primary School, which opened in Letchworth GC in the 1960s, will be called the Garden City Academy from September.

The move, imposed by the Department of Education (DoE), will see staff at the school work alongside experts from REAch Academy Trust - which the school chose as its full sponsor.

Funding from the DoE will be given to the school through the trust, instead of Hertfordshire County Council (HCC).

The decision follows an Ofsted inspection last March, when the school in Radburn Way was given a notice to improve.

Headteacher Linda Meredith said: “We are grateful for the ongoing support given to the school by the local authority over the last year which has enabled us to make significant improvements. We look forward to opening as Garden City Academy in September 2012 and also to the exciting opportunity of working with the support of our sponsor to further improve the learning for all the children at the school.”

A HCC spokesman added: “The transition to becoming an academy will happen without any interruption to students’ education. We are very pleased with the successes that staff and teachers have had in improving the school so far and wish them every success in their future as an academy.”

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A concerned Letchworth GC resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “To just change the name as a result of a less than encouraging Ofsted report seems to me to be erasing the past successes of hundreds, if not thousands of people.

“I remain unconvinced and concerned that merely changing the name of this important part of the community will solve the issues it faces. What else is being done to raise standards and support staff so that they might stay in their jobs for a longer period?

“Jackmans has in fairly recent times lost its secondary school. Only in 2009 we also lost our other primary school. Are we now losing the history of our only mainstream, local primary and denying our place in the wider history of our town too?”

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