School earmarked to join academies

PUBLISHED: 18:25 24 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:23 25 August 2010

A PRIMARY school could be absorbed into a chain of academies.

A PRIMARY school could be absorbed into a chain of academies.

Barnes Cray Primary School in Iron Mill Lane, Crayford, could be transformed into a primary and secondary academy sponsored by the Haberdashers' Aske's Federation (HAF).

A public meeting is due to be held at the school at 7.30pm on Wednesday, October 8 to allow parents to quiz sponsors HAF and the Temple Grove School Trust, and Bexley councillors and staff.

Simon Windle, the council's member for schools, said: "An academy with new buildings, equipment and sponsored by the experienced and very successful HAF is an extremely exciting prospect for our young people.

"But residents can rest assured that any plans for buildings for the academy would have to go through the same rigorous planning procedure as any other works of this scale."

The council is consulting other schools and residents in the area having received ministerial approval to go ahead with the project earlier in the year.

If the plans go ahead, the new school would be the third in the HAF chain - one of 23 academy chains around the country.

Barnes Cray Primary School, which has a high proportion of children with special needs, picked up a 'satisfactory' Ofsted report in May.

The HAF academy in New Cross, Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College, received an 'outstanding' report the same month.

HAF's Knight's Academy, which moved to Launcelot Road, Bromley in Easter last year, was described as 'good with outstanding curriculum' by Ofsted in 2008.

The project's other sponsors, the Temple Grove School Trust, have offered £500,000 to support the potential school's enrichment activities, such as school trips.

The news comes in the same week it was announced that that a company has been selected to build the Catholic-sponsored St Paul's Academy in Greenwich over the next two years.

Rydon Construction is to build the £20 million academy on a site occupied by Abbey Wood School, which is due to close in 2009.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark also sponsors St Joseph's Academy and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School, both in Lewisham.

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