The Right Reverend Michael Langrish joins the former Ilfracombe Arts College to celebrate its change to academy status.

THE Bishop of Exeter has welcomed the new Ilfracombe Academy to the church family.

He visited the former Ilfracombe Arts College on Thursday for the official launch of its new academy status.

It is the first school to join St Christopher’s Multi Academy Trust, set up by the Diocese of Exeter’s Board of Education to support schools becoming academies.

The Right Reverend Michael Langrish toured the school, meeting students and teachers, as well as the newly formed governing body.

He spent time speaking with Sixth Form students who are studying ethics and philosophy, saying later they had shown a great interest and asked several ‘deep’ questions during the class.

“The school has a great leadership team and enthusiastic and highly talented students, and I know will go from strength to strength,” he said.

“St Christopher’s is there to support the school, teachers and students on this road.”

Academies not under local authority control and have more freedom to manage their affairs, such as pay and conditions for staff, length of the school day and more aspects of the curriculum.