Birmingham will be a new “hub” for a national academy chain which is set to take over the running of three city schools.
Kings Norton High School, Tindal Junior and Infant School, in Balsall Heath, and Primrose Hill School, in Kings Norton, will all re-open as academies in September.
The schools will move out of local authority control and will be run by education charity ARK, which already sponsors St Alban’s Academy in Highgate.
It is hoped that the three new academies will follow the success of St Alban’s, which was once threatened with closure but has gone on to become one of the most improved schools in the country by doubling its GCSE results in just two years.
ARK runs 11 academies nationwide, with nine in London and one in Portsmouth. Plans for another seven academies are in development. It aims to raise attainment in areas of deprivation to “radically improve pupils’ life chances”, with a focus on English and maths, improved behaviour and increasing pupils’ employability.
The London-based charity said it was committed to working with communities, with separate HR, admin and IT staff working in Birmingham to support the academies.
Lesley Smith, communications director at ARK, said: “Parents want the best education for their children. This is not about coming along and taking over a school. This is about schools coming and saying to ARK ‘we want you’.
“It would not work if we didn’t have the consent and support of parents and the community. We want to have a hub in Birmingham as we know we will have more success if we understand the communities we will be working in.”
The governors’ decision to make Kings Norton an ARK academy followed consultation with parents, pupils, staff and the community, led by outgoing head teacher Denise Burns.