MORE academies look set for Warrington after Lymm High School became the first in the town to officially open.

William Beamont High School, on Long Lane, has begun consulting with parents and partners over converting into an academy.

It intends to open under the sponsorship of Warrington Collegiate, severing ties with Warrington Borough Council .

Paul Hafren, principal, said: “This is an important decision for both William Beamont Community High School and Warrington Collegiate.

“We wish to ensure that the consultation process allows all interested parties the time and opportunity to ask questions and express their views.”

The announcement comes after Lymm High School, on Oughtrington Lane, opened as an academy last week.

It means the school will operate outside council control, choose its own curriculum, opening hours and uniform.

Speaking last Wednesday, Angela Walsh, head teacher, said: “Today we celebrate a new chapter in our long history as a school by our conversion to an academy.

“This new status will give us more autonomy and resources to support our vision of providing an outstanding education for all our pupils.

“We look forward to exercising the freedoms our new status will inevitably bring us.”

The school has so far remained tight-lipped on what changes will be made.

Academies are a flagship Conservative policy aimed at giving schools more autonomy, but criticised by trade unions.

Lysander High School, on Insall Road, Padgate, is due to open as an academy in January sponsored by the University of Chester, while conversion was only stopped at Culcheth High School when a loan agreement with Warrington Borough Council could not be resolved.

Great Sankey High School, in Barrow Hall Lane, has also decided to become an academy, although a date for conversion has yet to be confirmed.

And conversion has been mooted at Penketh High School, Heath Road.

Pinaki Ghoshal, assistant director of children and young people’s services at the council, said: “Whatever individual schools decide to do, the local authority will continue to work with them to ensure that all children and young people in Warrington receive the very best standards of education.”