CALLINGTON Community College aims to improve working conditions for staff and education opportunities for pupils following a pioneering move to become the first foundation school in the county. School governors have voted for foundation status — making it more independent from the local education authority — following a month-long public consultation. The changes will take effect from April 1, giving the 1,300-pupil college more control of its staff, its buildings and its admissions, independent of County Hall. Headteacher Steve Kenning said Callington was one of the few oversubscribed schools in Cornwall and wanted to provide the best possible education for everyone in the area. 'It will give us more control over our site. We would own our own buildings and land and employ our own staff,' said Mr Kenning, who added there was little opposition to the proposal. An hour and a half from County Hall, Callington felt cut off from Truro and was closer to Devon and Plymouth, staff said. Chairman of governors Peter Lee said with its double specialisation — Callington is a sport and music college — it was a progressive school which was always looking at ways of enhancing and improving itself. 'It is fully our intention to maintain strong links with the LEA but with foundation status finances due to the college will come directly to us rather than through the council,' he said. 'It means we will have responsibility for applying the resources to wherever and whenever they are needed.' Mr Lee said staff and governors had been to look at other West Country foundation schools and had been impressed by what they were achieving. 'We came to the conclusion that it was the best way to move the school forward and to provide better education for the young people of this area,' he said. He added that the school would not be going down the route of partial selection like some foundation schools: 'It is still very important to us that the college is open to all pupils from our eleven feeder primary schools. We will welcome all pupils from all ranges of abilities.' The college would be able to choose what services it bought from the LEA and other organisations in Cornwall and could opt for services outside the county if it so wished. 'It is early days and our aim is to make the move from community to foundation in April as smooth a transition as possible,' said Mr Lee. 'A couple of months after that we will be able to explain more fully how we see things for the future.'