ANOTHER Huddersfield school has confirmed its aim to become an academy.

Governors at Shelley College have decided to seek academy status after consultation with parents, staff, unions, students, Kirklees Council and a wide range of community groups, including other schools.

The intention is to convert to an academy on September 1 this year. The school will still be known as Shelley College.

Governors say they believe the new academy arrangements present an outstanding opportunity to improve the services the school can offer students and have established new links with universities and businesses, including an Oxford college.

Headteacher, John McNally said: “This change represents an opportunity for the school to improve even further, whilst still recognising our responsibility to support the wider system.

“It will give us a little more freedom to provide the services that support the needs of our students best, but we will continue to work with other schools and the local authority to ensure we play our full part in providing the best possible provision for all young people in Kirklees.

“We will be able to share further details in the next few weeks that will demonstrate how co-operation between our school and others will grow stronger, rather than be diminished in any way.”

Governors say they are committed to continue to work with the local authority and are aware of concerns that have been raised about the fragmentation of the schools system.

The school will not be changing its admission arrangements and it says it is committed to supporting comprehensive education for children of all abilities.

It also says disruption to staff will be kept to a minimum and pay and conditions will be protected.

Moor End Technology College at Crosland Moor confirmed last month that it would become an Academy school in May.

Academy schools are funded directly by central government and are independent of local government control.

They can also obtain money from outside groups including businesses, charities and religious groups.

They are free to set their own curriculum and terms and conditions for staff.

The academies programme was launched by the Labour government in 2000 but in May last year Education Secretary Michael Gove announced legislation to approve schools to become academies through a simplified streamlined process.

This new legislation has opened up the academies programme to all schools with those rated as outstanding by Government inspectors from Ofsted, able to open as academies more quickly.

Teaching unions have expressed concern about the move which they see as a fragmentation of the educational system and have expressed fears about schools setting their own pay and terms and conditions for staff.