Consultation on new St Albans academy launched

A CONSULTATION on plans to transform a secondary school into an academy for three to 19 year olds has been launched.

If the proposals get the thumbs up Francis Bacon Maths and Computing College would close on August 31 next year and the newly-named academy would open on the same site the next day with all current pupils automatically transferring to it.

The changes will only take place if academy status is granted and the development of the new school is set to be led by Sir John Lawes School Trust in the process of sponsoring it to become an academy

All parents and carers of pupils at the school will receive letters outlining the plans and the next stages in the process along with a form asking if they support the change as part of a consultation which will close on June 28.

Richard Thake, executive member for education and skills, explained: “In order to meet the demand for more primary school places in St Albans and to improve secondary standards, we are proposing the closure of Francis Bacon Maths and Computing College.

“The closure is necessary so that a new school can open on its site. The new school is intended to be an academy catering for children from three to 19 years of age, known as an ‘all-through’ school.”

He continued: “The opportunity to become an ‘all-through’ academy is a very exciting and positive development for St Albans and the local community as it will bring many benefits for future generations of young people in the area. However, we do want to know what parents and carers think about this proposal and we look forward to receiving their feedback.”

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Following the consultation period the Education and Skills Panel and the Cabinet of the county council will take account of feedback received during the consultation and decide whether a statutory notice should be published of the intention to close Francis Bacon. That notice would be published in September and anybody is entitled to comment or object within six weeks. The notice to close would be conditional on academy status being awarded to the Sir John Lawes School Trust.

After the statutory notice period, the decision on whether or not to proceed with the closure will be made by Herts County Council’s Cabinet at its meeting in November.