GROVE WOOD Primary School in Rayleigh is to become an academy.

The school will become the third primary academy in the Rochford district in July, after it received the go-ahead from the Department for Education.

Ashingdon Primary and Westerings Primary both broke from County Hall control to become academies in September 2011.

Grove Wood underwent a period of consultation with its staff, parents and pupils about the plans in November, and submitted the results to the Government in December.

Headteacher Richard Green said the school planned to take academy status on July 1.

He said: “We are all very pleased with the outcome of the decision.

“The July start gives us adequate time to put all the behind-the-scenes changes in place.”

The decision to switch to the academy structure, which sees greater direct funding from central government and less from Essex County Council, was prompted by a desire for control over their curriculum.

Mr Green said: “We want our curriculum to be as engaging as possible for our pupils and this gives us the chance to review our curriculum.

“Any decision we want to make, we want to have a positive impact on the children.”

There will be no name change and the uniform will remain the same.

Mr Green added: “There is not going to be any impact.

"We want to keep as consistent as we possibly can be.

“It won’t be an ordeal for anyone.”

The school was rated ‘good’, the second highest grade possible, in each of its last two inspections by Ofsted.

After the switch to academy status, Grove Wood will still be bound by law to follow codes of practice on admissions and special educational needs and would continue to be inspected by Ofsted.

An Essex County Council spokesman said: “The council welcomes the freedom of choice schools have to apply for academy status.

“We support schools to take this step where they see this will further develop or improve education.

“We look forward to working with Government to support academies through brokering relationships between all schools, regardless of school provider.”