A HUDDERSFIELD school is striking out on its own – but a leading councillor has asked “why bother?”
Kirklees Council will decide next week if Royds Hall High can become a foundation school.
The move would allow the Paddock school to bring in its own admission policy and set terms and conditions for staff.
Royds Hall also wants to form a charitable trust to help improve standards at the school.
The trust would include the head teacher and chair of governors along with two other nominees from the school.
There would also be one representative each from Huddersfield Town, Holmfirth Fair Traders Co-operative Society, Huddersfield New College and Sheffield Hallam University.
The council’s Labour Cabinet will decide next week whether to allow Royds Hall to become a foundation school.
But the Cabinet member for children and young people, Clr Ken Smith, is sceptical about the change.
“I find it hard to say if it’s a good idea or not,” he said.
“The school wants to do it but I don’t see any distinct advantages.
“Some schools are attracted by the notion of ‘release yourself from local government bureaucracy’ but the fact is that there isn’t any local government bureaucracy.
“Any bureaucracy comes from central government.
“Some schools have got this idea from the media that they can run their own ship, but they end up just shifting to a new boss.”
But Clr Smith added that the Cabinet would probably support the plan at its meeting at Huddersfield Town Hall at 4pm on Tuesday.
The Ashbrow councillor said: “I don’t think we will stand in the school’s way if that’s what they want to do.”
If the move goes ahead, Royds Hall’s staff would be employed by the board of governors rather than Kirklees.
Union leaders yesterday praised head teacher Melanie Williams for the way she had handled negotiations.
Kirklees secretary of the National Union of Teachers Howard Roberts said: “The school has entered into structured negotiations with us.
“They have been straightforward and up front and allowed time for a full and free discussion.
“The school has given us reassurances about the terms and conditions of teachers.”
His words were echoed by Mike Foster, who represents 22 teaching assistants and admin staff at the school.
The education convener of the Kirklees branch of Unison said: “We’re disappointed that the school is opting to leave the local authority.
“However, we’re in constructive talks with the school and they have confirmed that all pay and conditions for present and future staff will be protected.”