A DRIVE to ensure every single Bournemouth school is rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by the end of 2015 is likely to see more schools become academies.

All secondary schools in the town are already academies and eight previously maintained primary schools have also become academies. Two new schools that opened in September 2013 are both academies too, in line with government policy.

Converting to academy status means schools receive their funding directly from the Government and they become responsible for their own improvement arrangements.

As a result, the council has less money to spend on supporting schools and it has less power to intervene in how schools are run.

If most schools convert to academy status as anticipated, the council will lose £1.055m in funding and there is a risk it will not be able to afford to provide support services to any remaining maintained schools.

An updated ‘Education Improvement Strategy,’ which is due to go before cabinet on Wednesday, anticipates more schools becoming academies over the next couple of years and encourages them to support each other to raise standards.

Deputy Leader of the council Nicola Greene, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We are proud of what has been achieved through partnership working and a strong focus on providing high quality services to children, young people and their families so that they have the best possible start in life.

“Our recent Ofsted inspection recognises the work we have already done to improve school services.

“With more schools now becoming independent it is important that we review our arrangements to reflect these changes. Working closely with schools, our ambition is that every Bournemouth school is graded as good or better by 2015.”