Academy - what does it mean?

What is an Academy?

An academy is a state-funded school that is independent of the local authority, that is required to follow the same regulations and serve its community in the same way as other state-funded schools.

The Government's Academies Programme

The Government says that it wants all schools to become academies over the next few years, and is encouraging schools to become academies as part of a group of schools working together in partnership.

Any school that is outstanding (as Bransgore is) or good with outstanding features may apply to become an academy; plus any school can apply as part of a group of schools where at least one is good with outstanding features. To become an academy a school is required to support another school (or schools) to raise standards.

Freedom and Control

As an academy Bransgore has greater freedom from local authority control: the Governing Body has greater control over how the allocated budget is used; additional freedoms around the nature and delivery of the curriculum; and the ability to take certain decisions such as setting the lengths of terms and school day without the need for local authority approval.

As an academy Bransgore must still provide a broad and balanced curriculum. We are now in the process of a two year long full curriculum review which will consider how we can best meet the unique needs of our children and make sure that they are ready for secondary school.

The school continues to be subject to Ofsted monitoring and inspections. In addition, we work in partnership with other local schools and school leaders nationally to support each other and ensure standards are maintained.

Character of the school

There is no change to the character of the school: it would continue to look, feel and be the way it is now.

Bransgore continues to operate as a non-selective primary school, at the heart of our local community, providing high quality education for local children of all abilities and maintaining our high profile in the local community, working with other schools and community groups.


As an academy there is no change to the school’s admissions criteria – the same pupils would come to Bransgore as would come if it were not an academy.

Each academy manages its own admissions process and must abide by the Admissions Code and participate in the coordination of place planning with the local authority. An academy cannot introduce selection.


The responsibilities of an academy towards students with special needs is the same as for a non-academy school.

As an academy our commitment to all students including those with special education needs continue; the SEN facilities at Bransgore and its inclusive and comprehensive nature defines the school.


As an academy, Bransgore must follow the law and guidance on exclusions in the same way it does now; but the school does not have to consult the local authority before deciding to exclude a pupil and arrange its own independent appeals panel.


Academies receive the same level of per-pupil funding as a maintained school, but has greater freedom in how the budget is used.

As an academy the school receives an additional grant equal to the sum of money currently ‘top sliced’ from the education budget by the local authority to provide services to the school. As an academy it can choose to buy some or all of these services from the local authority; or it can choose to provide or buy in some of these services from elsewhere and to vary the detail of the services based on the school’s needs. The school may be able to secure better value for money and free up money to use for the school’s own priorities.

Term Dates and the School Day

As an academy Bransgore continues to co-ordinate our term dates with as many other local schools as possible.

Procedures for consulting on changes to the school day will be no different if Bransgore becomes an academy. The school day will only be changed on the basis of consultation and no change is currently felt to be necessary.

Academy Governance

An academy is formally run by an Academy Trust that is set up as a charitable company and can delegate functions to a Governing Body. It takes decisions about how the school operates and spends its budget. Academy Trustees have a legal duty to operate in the interests of the school.

As an academy the composition of the Trust and the Governing Body is determined by the current Governing Body and agreed as part of the ‘agreement’ or ‘contract’ with the DfE.

Our Academy Trustee & Members are:

Governors                       Current Office                                               Appointed     

       Mr Kevin Candy                    Community Governor                                             03.02.2016                 2018-19 -  1/1

       Mr Paul Brown                      Headteacher & Accounting Officer                    03.09.2013                2018-19 -  1/1

       Mrs Nikki Pollitt                   Staff Governor                                                          19.06.2013                 2018-19 -  1/1

       Mrs Lisa Pitcaithley            Support Staff Governor                                         25.09.2018                 2018-19 -  1/1

       Ms Jennifer Hunter             Chairperson                                                                01.09.2013                 2018-19 -  1/1

       Rev Dr Ben Sargent            Foundation Governor                                              01.07.2013                 2018-19 -  1/1

       Mrs Kerry Stopa                  Foundation Governor                                              22.09.2014                 2018-19 -  1/1

       Mrs Sarah Hogg                  Vice Chairperson                                                       22.09.2014                 2018-19 -  1/1

       Mrs Suzanne Darlington   Community Governor                                               01.12.2015                   2018-19 -  1/1

       Mrs Allie Hack                        Parent Governor                                                        10.11.2017                   2018-19 -  1/1

       Mrs Wendy Keene MBE       Company Secretary/Clerk to the Governors   20.05.2014                  2018-19 -  1/1

       Ms Jo O'Leary                         Parent Governor                                                      30.10.2018


Mr. Paul Brown - Headteacher & Accounting Officer

Mrs. Nikki Pollitt - Deputy Headteacher

Mr. David Green - Assistant Headteacher

Mrs. Katie Swift/Miss B Pidgley - Finance Manager/Finance Officer

Mr. Martin Saunders - Site Manager

Mrs. Angela Barnes - SCITT Director

Registered Office

Bransgore CE Primary School, Ringwood Road, Bransgore, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 8JH

Company Registration Number: 07803789