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PLANS have been approved to turn a secondary school into an academy.

Hatfield Visual Arts College will close on August 31 and re-open the following day as an academy after Doncaster Council’s cabinet agreed the plan.

It comes after the college was put into special measures in November 2009 following a damning Ofsted inspection.

The sponsor for the school is to be the School Partnership Trust which has successfully turned around De Warenne Academy in Conisbrough and Rossington All Saints Academy.

The Ash Hill school will continue to operate on the same site and continue to cater for 11 to 19-year-olds.

Speaking at yesterday’s cabinet meeting mayor Peter Davies said: “I welcome the development of the college becoming an academy.

“Hopefully now there will be a healthy amount of competition between Trinity Academy and the new Hatfield Academy.”

Since being put into special measures the school, under the leadership of the original deputy headteacher, has made steady progress.

It is on track to be out of special measures providing evidence of progress is good enough by the summer.

This is following the hard work by all members of staff, pupils and the governing body.

Twenty seven people responded to a public consultation with two against.

Many of the respondents said they thought the introduction of the academy would improve education standards as well as discipline.

The people who responded also felt that it would offer sixth formers a wider range of courses and choices when deciding where to continue their education.

It was also felt that it was a new start for the staff and students currently at the school.

Turning the school into an academy would meet several of the council’s key objectives in raising the standards of education for all pupils consistently and for the long team.

Coun Eric Tatton-Kelly said that the conversion of the school to an academy would be a positive move for the area.

He said: “I welcome the move to an academy.

“There has been no objection to the move and it will mean an improvement to the quality to education.”

All secondary schools in the Doncaster Council area were consulted about the proposal, along with all Hatfield and feeder schools staff and parents.