Deanes works on its academy plan

Echo: Deanes works on its academy plan Deanes works on its academy plan

THE long-term future of the Deanes school could finally be secured after it took giant steps towards becoming an academy by next year.

The school, in Daws Heath Road, Thundersley, is on course to form a multi-academy trust with the Billericay School, enabling it to move out of Essex County Council control.

The future of the school has been in doubt ever since county councillor Ray Gooding, the man responsible for education, unveiled plans to close it due to falling pupil numbers.

Mr Gooding ignored protests, and public meetings to save the Deanes and insisted the school would close, but that decision was overturned by a Government school adjudicator in February this year.

In a letter to parents, headteacher Jan Atkinson said: “The community has told us theyvalue the option of a smaller school where everyone is valued.

“Our staff and our students have told us being at Deanes is like being part of one big family.

By working with our ‘bigger sister’ school, we feel we have the best of both worlds.

“This proposal is still being developed with the aim of making this change during the next school year.”

A meeting with parents will be held on Wednesday, July 9, and the consultation will close on July 18. Assistant headteacher at Deanes, Desi McKeown, said: “We are consulting now.

“This is part of the legal process of becoming an academy and we have no reason to believe it’s not going to happen.

“Some time in the next year we hope to have academystatus approved.”

The consultation will take into consideration any concerns over the plans and then the school must wait until Academies Minister Lord Nash issues an academy order, agreeing the plans in principle.

Sue Hammond, headteacher at the Billericay School, said: “The Deanes School and the Billericay School are engaged in making lots of exciting plans.

“We believe that through working together, both schools and their students will benefit from even greater opportunities.

“The Billericay School has been approved by the Department for Education as a sponsor of schools that want to become academies.

“Therefore, the Deanes School is going through the academy consultation process and we hope to be able to welcome its staff and pupils into the Billericay Academy Trust during the coming months.”

Comments (4)

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7:34am Mon 30 Jun 14

The King of Southend says...

I am really happy about this.
I am really happy about this. The King of Southend
  • Score: 7

9:18am Mon 30 Jun 14

Jack222 says...

Makes no real difference; school staff and students remain the same.The change is politically made...
Makes no real difference; school staff and students remain the same.The change is politically made... Jack222
  • Score: -4

5:11pm Mon 30 Jun 14

raggedreece says...

Yes the staff and students remain the same however the conditions of funding will most likely improve with the separation from the ECC, as you may be aware the school was promised funding for a new build however when asked to wait for a few months they were then denied the funding and the process of the ECC trying to shut them down begun, whilst the funding was passed on to local schools such a King John who are much more selective about their pupils.
Yes the staff and students remain the same however the conditions of funding will most likely improve with the separation from the ECC, as you may be aware the school was promised funding for a new build however when asked to wait for a few months they were then denied the funding and the process of the ECC trying to shut them down begun, whilst the funding was passed on to local schools such a King John who are much more selective about their pupils. raggedreece
  • Score: 6

8:07pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Alittlebirdie says...

It will be great for Parents to have a choice of a small school with a caring and nurturing ethos. We are lucky to have lots of good schools in the Hadleigh area but the Govt desire for mega schools with thousands of pupils will leave some children isolated and forgotten. Deans has been fantastic for my children and all of their friends. Good luck with the academy. Having watched the shambles that is ECC you will be much better off without them.
It will be great for Parents to have a choice of a small school with a caring and nurturing ethos. We are lucky to have lots of good schools in the Hadleigh area but the Govt desire for mega schools with thousands of pupils will leave some children isolated and forgotten. Deans has been fantastic for my children and all of their friends. Good luck with the academy. Having watched the shambles that is ECC you will be much better off without them. Alittlebirdie
  • Score: 6

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