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Martham school set for academy status

PUBLISHED: 15:34 05 August 2010 | UPDATED: 11:55 16 September 2010

MARTHAM Primary School is set to be an educational trailblazer after it was the only school in the county to apply for academy status in the latest round.

MARTHAM Primary School is set to be an educational trailblazer after it was the only school in the county to apply for academy status in the latest round.

In October, the headteacher of Martham Primary and Nursery School is due to sit down and face the fresh challenge of running his own school with only the minimum of County Hall input.

Richard Denny and his governors will be given a free rein to set teachers' salaries and conditions, create his own curriculum, and control his whole budget.

On Friday, Nigel Craske, chairman of Martham Primary, said his school's decision to become an academy would bring clear benefits.

However, another 14 schools in Norfolk snubbed the chance to join in the government's academy scheme on Thursday.

Martham Primary, a foundation status school which was fast tracked for academy status because of its outstanding Ofsted rating, will be given all of its funding directly from the government.

Under the present system, up to 10pc of schools' budgets can be held back by local education authorities to fund provisions and services such as special needs.

Mr Denny, his board of governors and the academy's ruling trust will be able to choose a new school name and uniform, decide staff pay and conditions directly.

And it can create its own curriculum - so long as it is broad and balanced.

As a foundation school it already oversees its own admissions policy, and the use of its land and assets.

Norfolk County Council will still be responsible for pupil absence and other statutory duties, such as special educational needs and the provision of pupils' home-to-school transport.

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