A BRACKNELL Forest secondary school is considering turning into an academy and will consult 'stakeholders' after half-term.

Sandhurst School Headteacher Debbie Smith said, in a newsletter, the decision for possible change came after talking to leaders at Corvus Learning Trust, and Edgebarrow School, which is part of the academy trust.

She added looking into academy-status is "being made in the best interests of the students, and to future proof [the] school”.

She said: "We are looking to join this trust from a position of strength and will be able to share a role in the future development of the trust.

"We are not looking to shed our identity or ethos. The intention is we will retain our name, our curriculum, our staffing structure, our uniform, our admissions process, and our house system."

The currently-maintained school gets money and services from Bracknell Forest Council - as an academy, the school would be able to buy services from different providers, and combine resources and expertise in support departments.

Bracknell Forest Councillor Dr Gareth Barnard, Executive member for Children, Young People, and Learning said: “I am grateful to the headteacher and governors of Sandhurst School for sharing their thoughts with Bracknell Forest Council on becoming an academy.

"Decisions on the status of schools are, in general, a matter for local determination by governing boards and trustees. We need to empower school leaders to do what is right for all children and young people.”

Academies, sometimes run by a trust, get money directly from central government. They follow the same rules as state schools on special educational needs, and still get Ofsted Inspections.

However, academies have more control over how they operate: they set their own term times, and don't have to follow the national curriculum.

Four Bracknell Forest secondary schools are academies, and three are maintained, including Sandhurst School.