Northwood Primary School, which could be an academy. Picture by Laura Holme.
ANOTHER Isle of Wight primary school could become an academy, if the plans win the backing of parents and staff.
Northwood Primary School has registered an interest in becoming an academy with the Department for Education (DfE), and this month launched a consultation with the school community.
If the plans go ahead, the school would become a self-governing academy run independently from the Isle of Wight Council.
The governing body has said it believes the school would benefit from freedoms offered by academy status, including financial freedom — because additional funding would come straight from the government, estimated to increase the school's annual budget by some £60,000 — and flexibility to deliver the curriculum.
According to the consultation document: "The governing body views this as an opportunity to enter into a new relationship with the local authority.
"As a result of national spending cuts, the council has undergone significant change and continues to review its role in respect of providing services to schools. The council's capacity to provide meaningful support to its maintained schools has reduced dramatically."
Only one other primary school currently has academy status — Totland's Weston Academy, which was taken over earlier this year by the Academies Enterprise Trust, which also runs Ryde and Sandown Academies.
Northwood chair of governors Wendy Bluestone said: "Both the governing body and leadership team feel academy status has much to offer our school, to our staff and, most importantly, to the education experience we can provide for our pupils.
"Single academy status is considered preferable to sponsorship by a multi-academy trust because we believe this preserves the unique identity and ethos of the school, both of which have made essential contributions to the success that we have enjoyed over many years."
Following the consultation, which ends on October 26, the governors will decide whether to apply to the DfE to convert to academy status.