The Taunton Academy
|Religion||Church of England|
|DfE URN||136193 Tables|
|Colours||Black, grey and purple|
|Academy sponsors||Richard Huish College|
The Taunton Academy is a school with academy status in Taunton, Somerset, England. The school was formed by the merger of The St Augustine of Canterbury Church of England/Roman Catholic VA School and Ladymead Community School. Its original sponsors were Somerset County Council and the Diocese of Bath and Wells, however the school transferred to the Richard Huish Trust in 2015 and is now sponsored by Richard Huish College. It was opened on 9 September 2010 by Peter Price, the Bishop of Bath and Wells. Initially the academy admitted pupils aged 11 to 16 and will be based in the existing schools' buildings. In September 2011, the academy opened a sixth form for 100 students. In 2013, the academy moved to new and refurbished buildings on the former Ladymead site on Cheddon Road, with the former St Augustine site being closed. This plan was temporarily put on hold following the government's major review of the Building Schools for the Future programme in July 2010, and was subject to review by the Department for Education.
The expression of interest to become an academy was submitted by the sponsors to the Department for Children, Schools and Families in February 2009. The submission document confirmed that both schools had a set of problems. St Augustine had 274 pupils on roll against its capacity of 610, was in the lowest band for deprivation with 21.2% of pupils receiving free school meals against the local authority average of 7.9%, had 38% of pupils achieving five or more GCSE qualifications including English and Mathematics against the local authority average of 46.7% and national average of 47%, and for three years between 2006 and 2009 had set deficit budgets of between 8% and 14%. Ladymead had 746 pupils on roll against a capacity of 880, had 11.4% of pupils receiving free school meals, and had 41% of pupils achieving five or more GCSE qualifications including English and Mathematics.
The application was approved by education minister Jim Knight in March 2009. By June 2009, the plans looked to be under threat as parental consultation by governors at Ladymead showed strong opposition to the new academy. However, the final go-ahead was given in January 2010, when the government agreed to the academy's funding.
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- "The Taunton Academy Vice Principal" (PDF). Diocese of Bath and Wells. April 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
- Hill, Phil (20 January 2010). "Taunton Academy gets Government go-ahead". Somerset County Gazette. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
- "Somerset schools boss has hopes' for axed projects". BBC News. 6 July 2010. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
- "Major review of Building Schools for the Future – schools most in need targeted". Department for Education. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
- "Impact on BSF schools by local authority" (MS Word). Department for Education. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
- "The Taunton Academy, Somerset, Expression of interest" (PDF). Department for Children, Schools and Families. 23 February 2009. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
- Hill, Phil (30 June 2009). "North Taunton Academy — Ladymead and St Augustine's split over plans". Somerset County Gazette. Retrieved 25 June 2010.