School withdraws from Barnfield Federation

L13-1338 Putteridge High School, Putteridge Road, Luton
L13-1338 Putteridge High School, Putteridge Road, Luton

Putteridge High School has withdrawn from the Barnfield Federation after “frustration and uncertainty” in the process of converting to an academy.

The governors and headteacher met on Friday and decided to withdraw from the conversion, which was due to happen on September 1 this year.

The Department for Education halted the process after the Skills Funding Agency instigated an investigation into concerns about financial management and governance at Barnfield College.

Headteacher Helen Beauchamp said she did not want to see the good reputation of the school, which is rated ‘good’ by Ofsted, jeopardised.

Chair of governors Bill Pollard said: “The delay to the conversion process over the last eight months has led to frustration and uncertainty, and the governors felt that under the circumstances of the investigation it was no longer acceptable to align Putteridge High School with the Barnfield Federation.

“Putteridge High School has been judged by Ofsted to be a good school. The headteacher and staff have worked hard to ensure that standards in all areas are high, and the governors do not want to see the good reputation of the school jeopardised.”

Headteacher Helen Beauchamp said securing funding for a rebuilding programme following the withdrawal of Building Schools for the Future funding in 2010 was one of the primary aims of their conversion to academy status. She said: “The governors and I will continue to work with the local authority, the Department for Education and the Education Funding Agency to enable us to achieve this goal. The academy order was approved by the Department for Education earlier this year and the governors have been informed that it remains supportive of our aims.”

Barnfield Federation CEO, Helen Mayhew said “We’re naturally very sorry that circumstances have led to the Governors’ decision at Putteridge. But we respect that decision and, for our part, always put the interests of students and parents before anything else.“