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Ursuline set to become academy
12:00pm Wednesday 10th October 2012 in News
AN ALL-GIRLS school in Brentwood has become the latest in the borough to be granted academy status by the Government.
Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove has confirmed Ursuline Convent High School, in Queen’s Road, has achieved the conversion meaning it can take control of its own curriculum.
Becoming an academy also means the Catholic school, well-known for it’s distinctive brown, blue and yellow uniforms, which teaches girls aged between 11 and 18, will no longer be funded by Essex County Council.
Ursuline joins St Martin’s High School in Hutton and Shenfield High School as secondary school academies in Brentwood, while the recently opened Becket Keys free school is also classed as an academy.
In a letter sent to Eric Pickles, MP for Brentwood and Ongar, Mr Gove said: “I am pleased to tell you that I have agreed to enter into a funding agreement to allow Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School, in Essex, to convert into an academy.”
Mr Pickles said seeing the school become an academy is “brilliant”.
He said: “This is very welcome news indeed.
“I know how hard the Ursuline has worked towards this goal and am sure with academy status the school will go from strength to strength.”
The school, which has around 1,000 students, was founded in 1900 by the Ursuline sisters to provide the teaching and spiritual values of the Roman Catholic faith.
It started out as a direct grant grammar school before becoming a comprehensive in 1979 with masses being held at the nearby cathedral.
In 1999 the school became an Arts College, a title which it still holds.
Academies were first introduced by the Department for Education in 2000, with figures from July this year showing 1,957 now exist in Britain.
Brentwood Weekly News contacted the school, but the headteacher was unavailable to comment before going to press.