Plans to build the first academy offering boarding places have been scaled back after two schools dropped out. Wellington College, the pound;24,000-a-year private school, had planned to sponsor a twin-site academy in east Wiltshire. And Avon Valley college, Durrington, pulled out over concerns that it would lose its identity and that it was too far from Wellington. But Castledown school, Tidworth, is continuing with the plan.
* An independent Steiner school in Much Dewchurch, near Hereford, may become the first to join the state sector as an academy in September. The Department for Education and Skills is considering whether to pay for building improvements and costs for more than 300 pupils. The school would follow the Steiner approach, but pupils would still sit national tests at 14.