Two schools in Bushey have converted to academies and entered into a partnership their headteachers hope will “provide a full scope of education” for children in the village.

Bushey Meads secondary school and Little Reddings primary officially switched to academies this week and celebrated with a special event yesterday afternoon.

Hertsmere MP James Clappison and the borough’s mayor Peter Knell attended the celebration at Bushey Meads.

Schools that convert to academy status remove themselves from the control of the local authority and are given more freedom to decide what to spend their money on.

The school receives the same grants it would from the local authority but gets them directly from the government. It also gets additional cash to cover services it no longer receives from the local authority.

As well as the switch to academy status, the two schools in Bushey are looking to operate together under the guise of the Bushey St James Trust.

Keith Douglas, headteacher at Bushey Meads, in Coldharbour Lane, hopes the union will forge important links between the primary and secondary schools that will benefit both sets of pupils.

He said: “We like to be innovative in what we do and this union has been in the pipeline for about eight months now. We see this as a real opportunity to work with another school in the local community.

“Though we will remain as two individual schools, we intend to really move things forward together. In the future I hope we will see our facilities, like our specialist catering department, used by Little Reddings pupils. Our students will benefit from teaching the younger children – there is no better way to learn.”

Currently about a third of Little Reddings pupils go on to study at Bushey Meads though Mr Douglas pointed out the new link between the schools would not affect the admissions policy.

Though the schools’ current governing bodies will remain, a new Bushey St James Trust board will be set up to oversee and encourage joint ventures between Bushey Meads and Little Reddings.

The ten-person body will be made up of the two headteachers, elected governors and existing governors from both schools.

Heather Maddox, headteacher at Little Reddings, in Harcourt Road, explained why she is excited about the school’s future.

She said: “We hope to share staff expertise, resources and plan to provide children between the age of three and 18 a thorough process of education.

“There may be a slight funding advantage but the reason for this is to provide this part of Bushey with better education for our children. We’re viewing the future with great excitement – we have so many plans.”