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Nottinghamshire primary school to become academy after Government confirms agreement

An Nottinghamshire school will become an academy from next week after the Government confirmed its transfer to a new trust has been agreed.

Brierley Forest Primary and Nursery School, on the Carsic Estate in Sutton-in-Ashfield, will join the Transform Trust from Saturday, October 1.

A funding package has been confirmed by the Department for Education, while Nottinghamshire County Council has confirmed a new 125-year lease on the building for the academy trust.

In a delegated decision on the council’s website, which will come into effect on Friday (September 30), the new lease will hand control of the building’s maintenance at a “peppercorn rent”.

It will also hand the trust control over a former Sure Start children’s centre, which is now being used by the school for childcare.

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In a report, Neil Gamble, group manager for property and asset management at County Hall, said:

“The Academy Trust is entitled to a 125-year full repairing and insuring lease at a peppercorn rent.

“This will include any council-owned land and buildings which
form part of the principal operational school site.

“The conversion includes a former Sure Start children’s centre which forms part of the main building and is now used by the school for the provision of childcare.”

Some schools become academies, under control of a trust rather than council, in order to have more direct control over their curriculum and how they spend money.

Brierley Forest confirmed its initial academy conversion was due to take place at the start of the academic year, earlier this month.

However, in a notice to parents, the school’s head teacher Sarah Griffith said it remains a member of the trust “to all intents and purposes” ahead of the full conversion on Saturday.

When children return to school on Monday, October 3, it will be officially under the control of the new trust, rather than the county council.

In the notice, the head teacher said: “The conversion to academy status has been delayed and it is now planned for October 1, 2022.

“This does not mean that they discontinue the support, quite the opposite. Transform and [school] leaders had already agreed the planned support for this term and this will continue regardless of the academy status.

“To all intents and purposes, we are part of Transform – just not in name.”

In a letter to Lee Anderson, Ashfield’s Conservative MP, which was written on Monday (September 28), Kit Malthouse, the Government’s education secretary, confirmed the funding has been agreed.

He said: “I have agreed to enter into a funding agreement to allow Brierley Forest Primary and Nursery School … to become a sponsored academy with Transform Trust.

“The date of conversion will be October 1, 2022, and I am writing to the local authority to cease maintaining the school from that date.

“As you know, academies form an integral part of the Government’s education policy to raise attainment for all children and to bring about sustained improvements to all schools.

“I am delighted that this school will benefit from academy status.”

Welcoming the news on social media, Mr Anderson added: “Great news. Young people and education are a passion of mine.

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