ELTHAM'S Crown Woods College, recently rebuilt in a £50m project, is applying for academy status.

Headteacher Michael Murphy said the move - which would see it placed outside outside local authority control - was necessary due to competition from other academies in neighbouring Bromley and Bexley.

The rebuild was funded through a PFI contract and money from the axed government Building Schools for the Future scheme. Greenwich Council has invested £1,150,000 in the sports facilities and wanted it to become a leisure facility for the area.

Mr Murphy said use of the buildings by people living in the area would continue and it would remain a "community comprehensive school".

He said: "There's an inexorable movement by schools currently in London to become academies.

"We've got to be able to compete on a level playing field."