What will Academy status mean for school?

I have, for some years, read with interest reports on the fortunes and misfortunes of Hameldon Community College and am pleased to note Miss Broom’s efforts to drag the school out of the doldrums by whatever means, now including the possible conversion to an academy.

Thursday, 24th July 2014, 10:00 pm
Hameldon Community College in Burnley. Photo Ben Parsons

There are, and will continue to be, staff problems and the teaching union representative has, quite rightly, discussed the matter with the teachers concerned. Your report contains his comments and ends with his opinion that: “Hameldon becoming an academy will be a sad day for education in Burnley”.

Page 15 of the same issue contains a report on the Thomas Whitham College which, apparently, has already opted to become an academy and I have seen no reports of adverse comments on this change. The Chairman of Governors is confident the change will have a positive impact on existing and future students and their families. In other words, it will be good for the education prospects of Burnley.

Am I missing something or is there a fundamental difference between these schools? Why is Thomas Whitham School full of confidence while a similar change at Hameldon School is forecast to be a disaster? I shall read future reports on both schools with increased interest.

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K. Halstead

Lockyer Avenue, Burnley