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Academies money improves Prince Henry's classrooms
Major building improvements have been made at Prince Henry’s Grammar School following its conversion to an academy.
Headteacher Janet Sheriff says more than £1.2 million of academies grant money has been spent on making long-needed upgrades to the infrastructure of the Otley school.
The extra income also enabled Prince Henry’s to keep all of its teaching positions despite the fragile state of the economy.
The refurbishment has included:
- Replacing 100 rotting windows and removing asbestos
- Installing a completely new, insulated roof for the original school building
- Introducing improved lighting and rewiring the electrics The leadership team at Prince Henry’s was widely criticised for pushing through the unpopular switch to academy status, which became official in December 2011.
Mrs Sheriff, however, believes the benefits of doing so are now clear for all to see.
She said: “The impact of academy conversion can be seen in the significant improvements to the learning environment that we have been able to make, using more than £1.2 million of academies grant money.
“This work included things that have been in need of improvement for decades. The change in status has also enabled us to avoid making any of our teaching staff redundant, despite the austere economic climate.
“All this has been fundamental to our continued success, with 2013 exam results indicating further improvement in standards in the vast majority of subjects in school.
“That includes at A level, where the results were the best ever achieved with the highest ever proportion of students achieving A*, A or B in all of their three A levels.”
She added the change had not led to the school severing all ties with Leeds City Council – academies are essentially state-funded independent schools, out of local authority control – as some critics had warned.
She said: “If anything we now work in closer partnership with schools, academies and local authority officers across the city.”
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