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Support builds for Deanes School academy plan
12:10pm Tuesday 17th September 2013 in Echo News
SUPPORT is building for the Deanes School to cut ties with Essex County Council and become an academy as it battles to avoid closure.
Basildon Council wrote to Deanes’ headteacher Jan Atkinson to back the application for academy status in the wake of the decision to close the school in 2016.
The move would free the Thundersley school from county council control and give it the powers to determine its own future.
It comes after the county council launched a consultation to potenitally close the school amid concerns over falling pupil numbers.
In his letter, Phil Turner, Tory deputy leader of Basildon Council, said: “I am writing to inform you that Basildon Council is pleased to support your application.
“The Deanes School provides secondary places for 95 children from the Basildon borough. We know from other cases across the country that academy schools can bring further improvements to the schools that gain that status.
“The council would clearly be happy for its residents attending the school now and in the future to benefit from these changes and is happy to support your application.”
Ian Rudd, chairman of governors, said: “We are still fighting it and we are encouraged by the support right across the board.
“It just underlines that so many people, both lay and professional, feel the Deanes School should continue and that it’s premature to go for closure.
“We are grateful to Basildon Council for its support and are also looking to Castle Point and Southend councils to continue their support by supporting the academy application also. It is a long period in which to prove your worth, it becomes tiring but we are not defeated.”
Despite the threat of closure, the school, in Daws Heath Road, isn’t giving up the fight easily and was recently awarded performing arts status. It is already a specialist sports college.
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