MORE schools across Cheshire West and Chester have registered an interest in becoming an academy.
Dee Point Primary in Blacon, William Stockton Primary in Ellesmere Port, Clutton CE Primary and Bickerton Holy Trinity CE Primary in Malpas have asked to receive information about how they can change status.
Already in the system are Christleton High and Catholic High in Chester, Bishop Heber, Malpas, Delamere Primary and Kelsall Primary School.
Only Delamere, graded as an outstanding school by Ofsted, would be able to become an academy by September. But the Department for Education claims it would take a school just three months to change their status.
A successful change to academy status would see a school leave the authority of Cheshire West and Chester Council and enable it to set pay and conditions for staff.
Academies are also free from following the national curriculum and able to change the lengths of school terms and days.
However, critics fear loss of local control and accountability and worry those from poor backgrounds and children with special educational needs will be disadvantaged when applying to academies.
Delamere Primary headteacher Stephen Docking said: “It is a fabulous opportunity for all schools to consider.
“We shall be consulting the parents and interested parties going forward.”
Ellesmere Port’s University of Chester Church of England Academy, which opened last September, has just received the full £25m funding for its new build school, on a 12 -acre central site, south of Sutton Way, opening in 2012.