Steyning Grammar School is situated in Steyning West Sussex and is currently spread across 4 sites, 3 in Steyning and 1 in nearby Storrington. In 2019 the schools governing body started a review which has now resulted in the school making the transition over to an academy status. This is a common situation in comprehensive schools and as a pupil I was curious as to how this may affect the way the school is run and most importantly, will it impact on me as one of the pupils.

Bohunt Academy Trust currently runs 6 schools which include secondary schools in Worthing and Horsham along with others in Portsmouth, Petersfield, Basingstoke and Liphook. Steyning is set to be part of the Bohunt trust on 7th December 2020 which means that the schools finances and also the curriculum is no longer directed by the local authority and is managed by Bohunt academy trust. This could have a substantial impact on the school and its ability to deliver education to its pupils. The other schools in the trust generally have high OFSTED ratings with two rated as outstanding, one requiring improvement and the remainder as good so the outlook for Steyning would appear to be good however some concerns have been raised. National Education Unions threatened potential strike action back in March this year unless the transition is called off. This was due to concerns that the schools performance may be negatively affected by academy status and that by remaining within the local authority Steyning is more likely to perform better and deliver better education to their pupils. There were also fears that teachers may leave as a result of uncertainty over pay and conditions as this would be the responsibility of Bohunt Academy trust. These fears do not appear to have much of an impact since March when the review finished however, the full impact of this could have been affected by the Covid 19 lockdown and pupils being educated from home over that period. We now have under month to go until the changeover and there do not appear to be any big changes impacting on the pupils, the uniform we wear is not changing and the buses we all use to get into school will carry on running. We do not appear to have lost any teachers as a result of this change but the true impact is not going to be felt until a few months under Bohunt leadership. Change is always an unsettling thing but I really hope that this is a change for the good and that my fellow pupils and I will be, in the words of the Steyning Grammar school vision “Every person the best they can be”.