Bristol

Bristol academy partnership is proposed

Academies in Bristol could be asked to sign up to a partnership to stop the city's education system "fragmenting".

Five primary schools and four secondary schools are currently proposing to convert to academies.

A council partnership statement, due to be discussed by cabinet on Thursday, has been drawn up by headteachers, governors and education leaders.

The authority wants academies and schools in the city to collaborate and "share innovation".

'Greater complexity'

In its report council education chiefs stated: "There are risks that an increase in the number of academies could fragment and splinter the school system in ways that could foster competition rather than collaboration."

Currently, eight of the 20 state-funded schools in Bristol are academies and outside the council's control.

Councillor Clare Campion-Smith, the city's cabinet member for children and young people, said she wanted academies to be open to all.

"I want governing bodies becoming academies to consider their responsibility to the wider community and ensure continued public access to facilities.

"Our existing academies have already made this commitment and I hope that this will continue."

The city's director for children and young people, Annie Hudson, also called for better planning over school places.

Other concerns that have been raised by the council include the potential for differing admission policies across the city.

The council said this could make for "greater complexity for parents making decisions about their children's schooling".

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