TWO more schools are applying to become academies - despite Hounslow Council advising them not to.
Lampton School in Hounslow, became an academy in September last year, Cranford Community College converts to an academy in April, and Berkeley Primary School in Hounslow and Longford Community School in Feltham are looking into a possible conversion.
But the council has stood by its opinion that schools "should not convert".
A spokesman for Hounslow Council said: "The council does not promote the move to academy status and members are clear that they would prefer that schools did not convert. However, the council obviously co-operates when schools make this decision."
When a school becomes an academy it separates itself from the local authority in terms of funding and becomes a separate legal entity, receiving funding directly from Central Government.
Hounslow Council says it is proud of the relationship it has established with local schools.
Cllr Sachin Gupta, Hounslow’s lead executive member for education, said: "It is important that this relationship is maintained and there are concerns that a move to the formation to academy status might affect this. If a school wishes to become an academy we want to work with them to ensure that they, along with the other schools in borough, play a full part in the delivery of provision for children with complex and special educational needs."
Kevin Prunty, the head teacher at Cranford Community College, spoke to The Chronicle about the school's decision to convert, just days ahead of the big change. He said that despite the council's viewpoint on academy status, the authority has been very supportive of the school's decision and the two have worked closely together throughout.
He said: "We will be converting on April 1, the governing body carried out a significant consultation with the pupils, parents, and everyone linked to the college. There was overwhelming support for the proposal. The pupils got really involved, which was great."
The college decided to convert to academy status so it would have greater freedom over the courses it can offer, allowing for more vocational courses to be developed.
Mr Prunty said: "We will continue our partnership with the local authority and other schools. We are responsible for the young people of Hounslow and we should be working together to make sure their needs are being met and they can be as successful as possible."
A council spokesman added: "We are pleased that the schools considering academy status have all indicated that they wish to remain a part of the Hounslow family of schools."
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What is an academy?
Academies are publicly-funded independent schools. They have greater freedoms to support innovation and raise standards. These freedoms include:
• freedom from local authority control (ie, supported directly by the Department For Education).
• The ability to set pay and conditions for staff
• Freedoms around the delivery of the curriculum
• The ability to change the lengths of terms and school days.