Jun 8 2011 By Lawrence Poole
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THE head of a Chesham college hoping to lead it into a new era as an academy has praised the public for backing his campaign.
After attending a series of meetings, Kevin Patrick is confident Chesham Park Community College will become Chiltern Hills Academy later this year.
He said: "We're still waiting for formal confirmation from the Department for Education, but we're hoping to become an academy from September 1.
"I think everybody would recognise this would be a very positive result, we had lots of great feedback from the consultation and people in Chesham are behind us."
Around 85 per cent of those who took part backed the academy proposal.
The mixed school currently has 677 11 to 18 year olds and there are plans to broaden its appeal and increase its capacity.
Mr Patrick continued: "We're hopefully around £10m will be invested, which will allow us to upgrade our buildings and facilities.
"We're also hoping to add design elements to our courses to add to our performing arts ones and our more traditional courses.
"We've had fantastic support from the local authority and there will be funding coming from central Government."
He added: "I've also been speaking to Pinewood Studios about building a partnership where students will hopefully go along for classes.
"We want our students to continue to aspire."
The proposed academy will be sponsored by the Diocese of Oxford and co-sponsored by Buckinghamshire County Council.
BCC's new education chief Mike Appleyard has promised to sit down and talk to parents about the college's future.
He said: "I'm working on the proposal with the staff at the council and I am planning to speak to parents personally within a couple of weeks."
Mr Patrick said: "I haven't had a chance to speak to Mike Appleyard yet, but I had a lot of respect for (his predecessor) Steven Adams and I'm sure he'll do a great job in following him.
"In the mean time we're still working very hard to ensure the school fulfils its potential."
To find out more about the proposal go to: http://www.proposedchilternacademy.co.uk/