A POOLE infant school is celebrating becoming the first in the town to be granted academy status.

Stanley Green Infant School at Oakdale is now Stanley Green Infant Academy after the DfE approved its application to become a stand-alone academy.

Governors have worked with staff, parents and the local community in coming to the decision to leave the umbrella of the local education authority – the first infant school in the town to do so.

“This is a very exciting time for our school,” said head teacher Angela Malanczuk. “Over the years we have worked hard, in partnership with other providers, to build a provision at our school to serve our local community, including an outreach children’s centre on site and a breakfast and after school club.

“Becoming an academy will give us the freedom to move forward and further build on past initiatives to continue to provide the very best for our children.”

Rated good by Ofsted in July 2012, with the capacity to become outstanding, the 270-pupil infant school for four to seven-year-olds is due to expand in September with four forms of admission in reception.

As an academy it will have control of its budget and be able to allocate money to areas of most need. And the school has pledged to continue to work closely with other local schools and the local authority and share its good practice to achieve the best for its pupils.

Vicki Wales, head of children, young people and learning, Borough of Poole, said: “Government guidance states that schools can become academies to gain greater flexibility and freedoms to innovate.

The management of Stanley Green Infant School has decided to take advantage of this opportunity.

“In common with all other academies Stanley Green will hold the land and premises on a 125 year lease, will employ staff directly and be freed from the requirements of the National Curriculum.”