CHAFFORD Hundred school, lauded, last year, as the most improved school in the United Kingdom is in danger of having £1.4 million worth of funding for its sixth form centre withdrawn by Thurrock Council.
The news marks a low point in the relationship between the school and the local education authority and may, once again, see a school in Thurrock choose to become an academy and “free itself” from local authority control.
YT understands that the decision to pull the funding is based on the school refused to teach Construction and Motor Mechanics.
Thurrock Council has defended its decision.
A spokesperson said: “In September 2010 the council agreed to offer funds to develop vocational learning facilities at Chafford Hundred Campus jointly with
any subsequent post-16 facilities developed by the school.
The funds are from a specific grant and its conditions are that it must be used to support vocational education and/or Special Educational Needs. Since September 2010 there have been several discussions with the school about the proposed joint facility.
The school has advised the council that the vocational offer proposed by the council did not match their plans for the school. Thurrock Council
and the school jointly agreed to refer the vocational education proposal back to the 14-19 Partnership Group for them to consider further.
This group which represents all schools and colleges in the area have agreed to consult with schools on further options.
Their feedback will be fully considered by the council in due course before any further decisions are made.
YT spoke to headteacher, Chris Tomlinson about the controversy and where the school goes from here.