FURIOUS parents armed with banners and placards protested at Hatchford Brook Junior and Infants as part of their fight to ‘save’ the popular school.
They are pleading with council bosses to allow Arden Academy to sponsor the primary, which has previously been described as ‘failing’ by Ofsted, instead of attempting to merge it with nearby Valley Infants.
In a letter circulated to Hatchford Brook parents, Arden principal Martin Murphy confirmed he had been approached by the Department for Education, asking him to consider sponsoring the school if it left local authority control.
“We have said we would certainly consider this possibility,” Mr Murphy said.
Parents told the Solihull News this week that they believed Hatchford becoming an academy with Valley remaining as a ‘link’ school was the best option.
“Valley is a perfect school for what it does,” said dad Dean Lanchester, who kickstarted the campaign to save Hatchford Brook.
“It’s a great link school but I think Hatchford would really benefit from being under the direction of Arden. There is a real opportunity here and from that letter, you can tell Arden really care about their pupils.”
Jackie Bennell said she has concerns over the increase in traffic if the school was to merge onto one site.
“It’s chaos as it is. You have the bus dropping off children from Lode Heath at the same time as children coming out of Hatchford Brook. I don’t think the site will cope with a bigger school.”
Another parent Wendy Race agreed the school would benefit from becoming an academy.
“You’ve got the likes of Tudor Grange, which is an academy. We have got to think about what is right for the children at the end of the day.”
A Solihull Council spokesman said: “The council is currently consulting with parents over the future of Hatchford Brook Junior and Infants School. The views of all parents are welcome.
“The council has proposed closing the school and replacing it by expanding and changing the age range of Valley Infant School. Two options are being put forward; option one involves operating the expanded Valley School on a split site. The infants on the current Valley site and the juniors on the Hatchford Brook site. Option two involves relocating the expanded Valley School to the Hatchford Brook site.”
The consultation runs until Monday, September 30. A final decision is expected from education chiefs in December.