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Solihull parents concerned about academy plans

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 spoke 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 on 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 seen to have been given letters with information about whats going to happen.

"Even at this stage Im not sure if Im 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 havent 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, said 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 Patricks CofE Primary, in Earlswood, has also applied to convert to an academy.

 

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Cathrina Hulse
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