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Parents hit out over lack of consultation

ANXIOUS parents made a last-ditch attempt to prevent local schools becoming academies, calling for a “full and meaningful” consultation.

ANXIOUS parents made a last-ditch attempt to prevent local schools becoming academies, calling for a “full and meaningful” consultation.

Mums and dads voiced their concerns at a public meeting last week, organised to discuss the move.

The debate was chaired by former headteacher David Chamberlin, with senior councillors also having a say.

Tudor Grange and Arden School are due to become academies today (Friday) - taking them outside of council control.

Once they’ve left the local authority, the schools will have greater control of admissions, teachers’ pay and services.

But some parents have criticised how quickly the changes have happened and say that there is a lot of uncertainty.

Mum Elizabeth Hulse, who son goes to Arden, said: “I can honestly say that I have not felt at all consulted.

“The children only seem to have been given letters with information about what’s going to happen.

“Even at this stage I’m not sure if I’m for or against academies. I want to know what the benefits are.”

A Tudor Grange parent, who didn’t give her name, said: “I’m disappointed that parents haven’t been engaged in the process.

“I feel this has been sped through and we haven’t had a say on the matter.”

Concerns were also raised about the fact that consultation was held during the summer holidays and meetings were organised while many parents were at work.

Derek Smart, an Arden governor, told the meeting that letters were sent to parents and information was posted online.

“We have no plans to change the admissions process or select children on grounds of ability, but becoming an academy will make us masters of our own destiny.”

* St Patrick’s CofE Primary, in Earlswood, has also applied to convert to an academy.

 

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