SIR John Deane’s sixth form is waiting for the Government’s green light to become an academy.

The college announced its plans to form a multi-academy trust earlier this year, before holding a public consultation over the summer.

A decision on forming the trust now rests with Justine Greening MP, the secretary of state for education, and if approved Sir John Deane’s hopes to change its legal status in early 2018.

If approved, the multi-academy trust will be known as the Sir John Brunner Foundation.

Trevor Rawling, chairman of the corporation at Sir John Deane’s, told the Guardian that students and parents won’t notice a difference if the Government gives its seal of approval to the plan.

He said: “Sir John Deane’s has never been a local education authority-controlled college – it’s run by an independent corporation.

“We decided that as schools will almost certainly all convert to academies it makes more sense for us to be working with them as an academy.

“That’s broadly the basis behind it – and we hope it will bring more stability and security.”

Of the college’s five partner high schools, two have already become academies – The County High School, Leftwich and University of Chester Academy Northwich, in Rudheath.

Unlike colleges such as Sir John Deane’s, academies can reclaim VAT on goods and services from the Government.

Mr Rawling admits that would benefit Sir John Deane’s, but insists it is not the main reason for becoming an academy.

He added: “That is an advantage, but we aren’t doing it because of that. The primary reason we are doing this is to be able to continue to work as closely as possible with our partner schools.”

At a meeting on Monday, September 4, Northwich Town Council voted to support the college’s plans.

Cllr Derek Bowden, member for Leftwich, said it was the right approach for Sir John Deane’s in the current climate of academisation so it could continue to support the ‘superb schools in this area’.

“This is not the place to talk about academies, unless you would like to stay here until midnight,” he told fellow councillors.

“But there is now significant pressure on institutions to become academies.

“The motives of Sir John Deane’s are to benefit young people in this area and I’m confident that will continue.”