Trust strikes a deal to add six new academies
SIX Thanet schools are to become academies after a trust agreed a takeover deal with the Department of Education.
The Kemnal Academies Trust (TKAT) will gain control of Salmestone, Northdown and Newlands primary schools from September in a bid to drive up education standards.
Dame Janet Infant and Junior schools and Draper's Mills Primary School will follow suit in December.
Salmestone Primary's head teacher Sally Wells said: "We have chosen to become an academy because we can see the opportunities for staff and students.
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"At the moment, our funding from Kent County Council is top-sliced and we seem to receive less and less help.
"The move will help us free up our budget and work with the children and good practitioners at other schools to drive up standards."
John Atkins, chief executive of the Kemnal Trust, said: "We've started working with Thanet schools already and the main advantage for schools is an increase in their resources.
"The education authority usually holds back 7 or 8 per cent of its budget which will now be freed up to spend.
"It's not just about money: we have a team of literacy and numeracy experts to support teaching staff as well as an executive head teacher to support management."
Governors from each school belonging to the Kemnal Trust will form a Thanet board to oversee work.
The move is the Department for Education (DfE) policy to push up performance in primary education with more than a million pupils already in academies.
Several schools in Thanet are meeting DfE officials over the next few weeks to decide if they will be forced to join the growing number of academies.