Ilfracombe launches academy status

Ilfracombe Arts College will be officially relaunched on Thursday as The Ilfracombe Academy.

Ilfracombe Arts College will be officially relaunched on Thursday as The Ilfracombe Academy. - Credit: Archant

ILFRACOMBE Arts College officially becomes The Ilfracombe Academy on Wednesday as it looks towards a new horizon.

The school has been working closely with the Diocese of Exeter in a bid to win church academy status, which means it will have more freedom to manage its own affairs.

The grand relaunch is tomorrow when The Bishop of Exeter, the Right Reverend Michael Langrish, will visit the school to meet students and teachers.

The school has been sponsored by St Christopher’s Multi Academy Trust and is the first to join it after it was set up by the Diocese to support schools becoming academies.

“We are really delighted that the plans we have been working on for the last 18 months have enabled the school to become a church academy,” said headteacher Sharon Marshall.

“It is an exciting opportunity for staff and students to work with and learn from new partners. We have already benefitted from working with the Diocese in a number of areas, particularly establishing links with other church schools, and we know this has the potential to grow and benefit staff, students and our whole community.”

Reverend Robert Harris, vicar of Holy Trinity and St Peter’s Ilfracombe, is chairman of the new governing body.

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“This is an exciting new development which gives all involved in the Academy the opportunity to work with the Diocese of Exeter and our school improvement partners as we continue not only to raise standards of achievement and student aspiration but also provide pastoral support and opportunity for the more vulnerable students within our community.”

Bishop Michael added: “I am delighted to welcome The Ilfracombe Academy as the first school to join our newly established trust.

“The school has a great leadership team and enthusiastic and highly talented students, and I know will go from strength to strength. St Christopher’s is there to support the school, teachers and students on this road.”

Schools with academy status are not under local education authority control and have the freedom to decide on issues such as teachers’ pay and conditions, areas of the curriculum and even the length of the school day.

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