Hereford Academy

Herefordshire is well on the way to setting up a new faith school to be run by the Church of England.

According to an internal C of E report (see below):

  • It will be “based on Wyebridge Sports College in the South Wye (formerly known as Haywood High School).”
  • “The Sponsor has to find £1.5 million of sponsorship money for the Academy project. This goes neither to capital or revenue funding but to an endowment for the use of the Academy.”
  • “The C of E has already sponsored a number of academies now open, and plans to sponsor another 30-40.”
  • “The most significant piece of information is that a charitable trust has extremely generously offered the full £1.5 million for our sponsorship and this will be gratefully and thankfully accepted. The actual sponsor wishes not to be named, nor to play any part in the governance of the Academy.”

As well as a decision by Herefordshire to take government money (which is only available for new Academies and not for local authority inclusive community schools) this indicates a shift in government policy since previously the “sponsor” had to find 10% of the capital (building) cost of new academies. This seems to have been watered down to an “endowment” – which effectively means that the C of E has to find nothing up-front. Even if they did have to find 10% of the building costs, they could do so by borrowing under such schemes as the Private Finance Initiative. The Church of England’s Dearing Report makes it very clear that there are accountancy tricks that would involve no cash up-front.

Since the anonymous sponsor will not play any part in the governance of the Academy, there is no way (or need) to get his/her name since he/she could have just handed money over to the Church anyway – and your name is not necessarily made public if you contribute to a Church. It would be a very different matter if the sponsor was to run the Academy but in this case it is the C of E itself – whose divisive policies still argue for its right to discriminate against people based on their gender or sexuality.

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