Tuesday 19 January 2016

Cllr Moher at a loss over Oakington Manor/Furness academisation

At last night's Council Meeting Cllr Kelcher,  speaking on behalf of  Furness Primary School parents, asked Cllr Moher, Lead Member for Children and Families, what the Council had offered parents as they battled the headteacher's plans to turn Furness into an academy. Furness is in a federation with Oakington Manor Primary School with one headteacher and one governing body.

Kelcher said he had been approached by Furness parents  who could see no compelling reason for it to become an academy and could not see why the great progress the school has made should be put at risk.

They wanted to know if the Council would stand by them in their fight.

Ruth Moher said that it was difficult to know what the Council could do other than what they had done already. They had indicated to the governors that they would prefer the schools to remain community schools within the family of Brent schools.

Moher said she was happy to talk to parents to give them information about what was happening and how it had come about. However, the difficulty was that there had been consultation meetings which had not been particularly well attended and no alternative views were given.

Cllr Moher said that she understood the academy application from the governors had gone to the  government. Once that was done the school would become an academy unless the governors could be persuaded to withdraw the application.

She finished:
I don't actually know if there is anything that could be done unless there is a real groundswell of opinion from parents to make the governors think and change their mind but I've had no sense of that happening.
She offered to talk to Cllr Kelcher about the issue.

I would suggest that if the consultation meetings were small and alternative views were not given that the ward councillors, or the Council itself,  should hold a well publicised community meeting for parents and prospective parents to give information and debate the case for and against academisation. This would be followed by an independently administered ballot of parents.

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