Stevenage secondary is holding consultation on move to become a foundation school

Headteacher Martyn Henson says education is about taking risks

Headteacher Martyn Henson says education is about taking risks - Credit: Archant

A secondary school has revealed plans to change from a community to a foundation school – with a public consultation now under way.

The Nobel School in Stevenage launched a four-week consultation last week on the proposal to change from a community to a foundation school from September.

As a foundation school – which is not the same as an academy – the governing body becomes the employer of the staff, the owner of the land and buildings, and the admissions authority for the school.

As a community school, as it is now, Herts County Council is responsible for all these areas.

The school will still be funded by the local authority, must teach the national curriculum, and is inspected by Ofsted.

Headteacher Martyn Henson said: “We will continue to follow the national curriculum at Nobel and all students will study science to GCSE.

“Education is about taking risks – and getting things wrong – and in its purest form learning to love learning.”

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The governing body – which believes the move would enable greater freedom to shape the strategic direction of the school – says there are no plans for staff redundancies, but that it cannot rule out the possibility in the future.

Chairman of governors Richard Aggus said: “The board of governors will consider any questions raised during the formal consultation period when it meets after the period closes, and will then hold a formal vote on whether to proceed.”

The plans have caused some concern, with a parent of one Nobel pupil – who did not want to be named – telling the Comet: “I worry the government is off-loading its responsibility and is too willing to take its finger off the pulse when it comes to schools.

“Lots of schools are changing their statuses, particularly to academies, and it is unsettling for parents. Schools should just concentrate on the education of their pupils. Additional responsibilities surely distract from that.”

To comment on the proposal before the April 29 deadline write to Chairman of Governors, The Nobel School, Mobbsbury Way, Stevenage, SG2 0HS or email

All correspondence should be marked ‘responses to foundation proposal’.

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