Catholic schools considering academy conversion

CATHOLIC schools are in talks with the Diocese of Leeds about the possibility of converting to academies.

Parents and trustees have been invited to take part in discussions on changes to the way Catholic schools in the area could be run if they were to apply for a change in status.

Diocese of Leeds spokesman John Grady said no Catholic schools had yet applied to become academies but he expected some to start applying in the New Year.

He said: “It does give advantages, the main one being that academy schools control their own budget and curriculums.”

Academies also operate outside local authority control.

St Joseph’s Catholic School, Moorthorpe, confirmed that it was currently at a discussion phase with the diocese and other schools in the Wakefield area but stressed that no decision had been made.

Mr Grady said there had been a mixed response from schools.

He said: “It would appear that the government is keen on turning every school into an academy. At the moment we have voluntary aided schools and get certain help and support from government.

“One of the options being discussed in the Diocese of Leeds is that schools should look at the advantages and disadvantages in applying to become academies. They wouldn’t become academies as single schools but as family groups of schools.

“Some are obviously keen and some have got to take it on board and think about it.”

The Diocese of Leeds covers several parishes in the Wakefield area.