THE first primary school academy in Cheshire opened its doors on Friday (April 1) with a promise from the headteacher that they will never shut.
Delamere CE Primary Academy opened at the former Delamere CE Primary School.
Headteacher Steve Docking said: “This is the start of a new and very exciting chapter in our school’s life. It is a wonderful opportunity to build on our outstanding status and make Delamere a truly stunning example of what a great small school can be.” The school, on Stoney Lane, was threatened with closure in 2007.
Mr Docking was headteacher at the time and has masterminded the move to become an academy.
He added: “Small schools are always under the microscope when it comes to cost-saving in any local authority.
“As an academy this can never be imposed again. We are now in complete control of our own destiny.
“Our academy is aimed at bridging the gap between state and private schools, enabling children to have the best education that money doesn’t have to buy.”
Academy status gives schools more freedom over budgets, the curriculum, buildings, term times and the length of the school day.
They are also free to set their own teachers’ pay and contracts.
Delamere’s journey to becoming an academy started in July last year and has involved letters to minister for education Michael Gove, five different sets of solicitors, regular conversation with MPs and civil servants and land issues.
The school has already been asked by the Department for Education to support a small rural school in Cumbria which is looking to become an academy, in addition to several other larger schools.
Mr Docking said proudly, “It will be our pleasure to lead the way.”
Former pupils of Delamere CE Primary School are invited to the official opening of the academy on Tuesday April 26 at 9am. For more information contact the school on 01244 981145.