Rushden primary school becomes academy

Risdene Academy head teacher Andrew Sears with pupils earlier this year
Risdene Academy head teacher Andrew Sears with pupils earlier this year

The headteacher of a Rushden school says gaining academy status can help it push on to the next level.

Newton Road Primary School has officially become the Risdene Academy and headteacher Andrew Sears said he is delighted.

He said: “As Newton Road we had been rated good by Ofsted and we were looking at ways to make that next step and become outstanding.

“After looking into The Education Fellowship (TEF), we were really excited by their aims and the ways they want schools to improve.

“We met TEF and we were really inspired by what we heard and decided it was the right direction to take to help move the school forward.

“We are an ambitious school and are always looking at ways to improve.

“This is an exciting time for us and it is all about creating opportunities for our students.”

The school was granted academy status in June, but officially became the Risdene Academy at the start of this academic year.

The academy is sponsored by The Education Fellowship, which is based in Northamptonshire and already sponsors a number of schools in the county.

Rushden Community College, along with Ruskin Junior School and Warwick Primary School. both in Wellingborough, are just some of the schools TEF already sponsors.

Mr Sears said being sponsored by TEF can help open up exciting opportunities for students.

He said: “When we first began our partnership with TEF in June, our pupils had the chance to go to the British Museum and that is a rare opportunity for children from our area to have.

“We will be looking at giving the children more exciting chances like this.”

The school is holding a special Fellowship Foundation Day on Thursday, September 5, and will be holding a number of fun activities to make the day enjoyable for the pupils.

Mr Sears added: “We have a new school uniform for the year and, only if they want, the children can choose to wear blazers.

“We will also be presenting every pupil with a Risdene Academy jumper.”

The headteacher said he hopes the school will continue to build and progress and the aim is to achieve an “Outstanding” rating in its next Ofsted inspection.