A letter has gone out to parents confirming a change of name from Route 39 Academy to Atlantic Academy.
The North Devon school has been stricken by problems almost since its inception, with planning issues (the new school for 700 pupils is sited in the North Devon AONB which angered local people), an ongoing shortage of pupil numbers, temporary accommodation at Clovelly, numerous principals coming and going, a damning Ofsted report (after no pupils were entered for GCSEs last year) and the mass resignation of governors. It is not the school it set out to be.
However, for its adherents, Route 39 has always been a popular school, with some happy children and parents, but relations with the local community were and remain fraught.
The change of name promises a new start for the school which it so badly needs. The school day will also follow that of other schools, finishing at 3.30pm, not great for working parents perhaps, but it gives students a vital break between school and homework.
Here’s hoping the school can have a fresh start and provide its pupils with the education they need and deserve.