A CONTROVERSIAL plan to turn Redhill School in Stourbridge into an academy has been approved by governors of the popular town school.

Governors made the decision yesterday (Monday November 19) to go ahead and prepare an application for academy status despite the formation of an opposition group called Redhill Schools Concern.

Parents and teachers opposed to the plan, which was only revealed to the wider public two weeks ago, said there was no justification for making such a change to the status of the successful Junction Road school, which has received glowing Ofsted reports.

But governors say “conversion to an academy is in the best interests of Redhill School’s current and future pupils”.

A statement released on the school website today (Tuesday), following a consultation which ended on November 9, said: “The decision was not taken lightly but followed lengthy discussions, consultation and research.

“There is now much work to be done and the governors, headteacher and senior leadership team remain committed to supporting all staff and pupils throughout the application process and to maintaining clear lines of communication with the whole school community.

“The school’s governors and staff remain committed to keeping the very highest standards of care and education for the pupils of Redhill School.

“The values and ethos which has led us to being recognised by Ofsted as an outstanding non-selective school will be maintained.”

Headteacher Stephen Dunster added: “Many secondary schools have gone down the route of academy conversion. We have looked at the options carefully and as an academy, we believe, Redhill School will gain additional freedoms and resources for our pupils and staff.”

If the application is successful, Redhill would become an academy in the spring of 2013.

Information about the proposed change will be announced through the school’s website, letters and meetings over the coming months.