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Outstanding Catholic school to be an academy.

AN outstanding Catholic school and sixth form college has become the first for the Newcastle and Hexham Diocese in Durham to convert to an academy.

St John's in Bishop Auckland aims to continue its work as a National Support School, sharing its methods in teaching and learning, behaviour and leadership across the region. Now known as St John's School and Sixth Form College, a Catholic Academy, it has also played a role in laying new ground for the transfer of land from local authorities when schools convert. Gerard Moran, executive principal at St John's and a National Leader of Education, said greater freedoms over the curriculum and resources would allow the academy to continue providing the best education for young people.

Elaine McLaine, a solicitor with regional firm BHP Law who specialises in academy conversions, said: "Land owned by the local authority, which has buildings on it for voluntary aided schools for sport, has to transfer to the academy trust as part of the conversion process.

"The seamless way in which we were able to negotiate this with the local authority has shown the Secretary of State that they do not need to give consent in such cases."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 2, 2012
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