Whittaker School is a grant maintained 12-18 mixed comprehensive serving a county town and surrounding villages. In 1993 the standard number was 244 and the number on roll 1,094 with 165 pupils in the sixth form. There are other LEA comprehensive schools in the vicinity and a large independent school nearby. The school has been admitting above its standard number and remains oversubscribed, although the overall number of pupils has declined: 263 were admitted in September 1992, 260 in September 1993 and 248 in September 1994.
The teaching staff complement for 1993-4 was 68, including the head teacher, and represents an increase on the previous two years (1991-2:65.3 and 1992-3:66.2). For the academic year 1992-3 the school had a non-teaching staff of 22. The school has a full complement of governors on a governing body of 20.
Whittaker School takes its pupils from over 20 local middle schools and a high proportion come from outside the traditional catchment area. The intake comprises pupils from a wide socio-economic spectrum and 20 per cent come from ethnic minority groups, mainly Asian. The school has one statemented pupil for special needs support and a small proportion (57 pupils) are entitled to free school meals.
The school has been locally managed since April 1990 and was granted grant maintained status in April 1992. In 1992-3 the school’s annual maintenance grant was £2.2m. Total annual income amounted to £2.4m after additional central government grants, including capital grants. For 1993-4 the annual maintenance grant is £2.39m with total income, including government grants, of £2.98m. One of the most obvious benefits of grant maintained status, thus far, is the extra capital funding which has been made available for a new technology building and the school is working on a long term strategy for future capital expenditure. Since the appointment of a new head teacher in 1991 and the change to grant maintained status, the school has rapidly developed new management structures.