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Waterloo’s Johanna Primary School considers bid for academy status

Johanna Primary School in Waterloo is considering an application to the Government for academy status in partnership with Oasis Community Learning.

Michael Gove
Michael Gove has extended the Government's academy programme to include primary schools

Johanna, which is the only primary school in the Waterloo area, has written to members of the local community to seek their views on the proposal to seek academy status.

Academy status – previously only available to secondary schools – has been extended to primary schools by education secretary Michael Gove.

The Government claims that benefits of academy status include freedom from local authority control, the ability for a school to set its own pay and conditions for staff, some freedom in curriculum delivery and flexibility to alter term lengths and the timings of the school day.

"The governing body voted in February to investigate the possibility of the school converting to academy status, either on its own or with a sponsor," writes chair of governors Gemma Rocyn Jones.

"As Ofsted rated our school as "good with many outstanding features" in our June 2010 inspection we are in a position to consider this option.

"Governors will take the final decision on 23 March at an extraordinary governing body meeting. A working party has been established and is gathering relevant information about arguments for and against academy status.

"The school has been approached by Oasis Community Learning to become part of its national academies programme. Their headquarters is 200 metres from the school, we have fostered close links with them in the past and they are very interested in developing opportunities for the resident community in Waterloo."

Oasis is the charity founded by Baptist minister and TV presenter Steve Chalke. Through its Oasis Community Learning arm it already sponsors a dozen academies around the country. The Oasis group is based in the complex of buildings at the junction of Westminster Bridge Road and Kennington Road.

• Find out more about Johanna's consultation with parents and Waterloo residents at www.johanna.lambeth.sch.uk

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