Dewsbury primary converts to foundation status

Bronagh King, headteacher of Chickenley Community Junior Infant and Nursery School with (from bottom left) Amber Charles, Shayne Bowman, Charley Tupper, Harris Kemp, Ben Kaye, Codie Callaghan, Coun Eric Firth, Harry Wightman, Charlee Dransfield, Rory Deery and Joanna Rup.
Bronagh King, headteacher of Chickenley Community Junior Infant and Nursery School with (from bottom left) Amber Charles, Shayne Bowman, Charley Tupper, Harris Kemp, Ben Kaye, Codie Callaghan, Coun Eric Firth, Harry Wightman, Charlee Dransfield, Rory Deery and Joanna Rup.

A ‘hub of learning’ will be created in Chickenley after a primary school was given more power to run its own affairs.

Chickenley Community School is now funded directly by the government after it converted to foundation status last Wednesday.

The conversion, which was backed by parents in a consultation last year, will see the formation of The Chickenley Community Co-operative Learning Trust.

Kirklees Council’s cabinet agreed the authority would join the trust on Tuesday.

Headteacher Bronagh King said the move would build on the co-operative feel of the ‘Chickenley campus’ – which includes Chickenley community centre, Chickenley, Earlsheaton and Shaw Cross children’s centre and private nursery Little Jacks day care – to build a ‘hub of learning’.

The community centre is already part of the trust and Miss King said she was hoping to get the other organisations on the campus on board.

She added: “We are a school that’s very much part of the community. We have a vision for the families and parents of Chickenley. We want to promote life-long learning and raise aspirations among families and parents.”

Coun Eric Firth (Lab, Dews East), a governor at the school, said he hoped Kirklees College and Huddersfield University would join the trust in the future. The school remains under Kirklees Council control, unlike schools which convert to academy status, which leave council control altogether.