Berkshire

Reading's Highdown School given academy status

Highdown School
The school will not be council run from Monday

A school has become the first in a Berkshire town to be given academy status under new rules introduced by the coalition government.

Highdown School, in Reading, will no longer be council run when it reopens on Monday.

The school qualified for academy status because it was judged outstanding by education watchdog Ofsted.

It means the school and sixth form college's budget will be boosted by more than £1m a year.

'Freedom to innovate'

Under the previous Labour government, academies were focused on improving areas of underachievement.

However, when it took power the coalition government announced that only schools rated outstanding by Ofsted would be considered for academy status.

Although it will not be state funded, the school has indicated it wants to continue to work with Reading Borough Council.

Headteacher Tim Royle said: "We look forward to using our freedom to innovate so that we can provide the best possible educational experience for our community."

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