Worlaby school becomes academy after 140 years as a village primary
One of North Lincolnshire's oldest primary schools has joined the ranks of those changing their status to become academies.
The 140-year-old former Worlaby Primary School is the seventh of the region's 50 primary schools to make the switch and is now known as Worlaby Academy.
The move has reopened the debate on the benefits of academies, which sit outside local authority control.
Joanne Milnes, head teacher at Worlaby Academy, said: "Academies form an integral part of the Government's education policy to raise attainment for all children.
FREE MEAL OFFER at our award winning restaurantView details
Whatever your occasion, book a table for 6 or more and we will give you a free meal up to the value of £15 with this voucher.
Terms: Cannot be used with any other offers or vouchers. Your email address.......................... (if you want to receive vouchers in the future). Print voucher or show us the voucher on your phone.
Contact: 01724 281289
Valid until: Sunday, June 23 2013
"As an academy, we will now have the opportunity to use the freedom and flexibilities to share best practice and work with others.
"We are a small academy in the heart of the Worlaby community and we take great pride in creating a warm and friendly environment and a positive culture for learning.
"We value the contribution of parents and work hard to build strong relationships with them."
Andy Tucker, chairman of the governors at the academy, said: "In our view it was an opportunity to develop new collaborations, to procure services more effectively, and to manage without being hindered by bureaucracy.
"The school will receive direct funding for the proportion of Government grant that was previously held back by the local education authority and used to provide centrally procured services."
Among the existing academies in the region are Epworth Primary Academy, Hibaldstow Academy, Scawby Academy and St Mary's Catholic Primary Voluntary Academy, in Brigg.
The list is completed by St Augustine Webster Catholic Voluntary Academy and St Bernadette's Catholic Primary Voluntary Academy, both in Scunthorpe.
Gareth Nichols, executive head teacher at Scawby and Hibaldstow academies, said: "There are a lot of benefits to academy conversion.
"The main ones are freedom to make choices on the services we select on providing the best we can for the pupils.
"We have got more flexibility on how we use the funding and we have been able to provide swimming lessons for pupils from the ages of 6 to 11.
"A lot of it is about freedom and we still get the benefit of being able to work closely with the local authority."
But Rosie Pugh, head teacher at Castledyke Primary School in Barton-Upon-Humber, said she was yet to be convinced about becoming an academy.
She said: "We have got to see a clear mandate that would raise standards and make things better for our children by becoming an academy.
"At the moment, that is not apparent.
"It might be that if the ones that change status do so much better by their children, then maybe it will become obvious that is the way we need to go."