Thursday, 23 May 2019

Brent Council did not formally consult with secondary headteachers on alternative free school provision...

...Or that it what an FoI response from Brent Council to the National Education Union (NEU) seems to indicate.

At the Scrutiny Committee meeting on the free school proposal Gail Tolley, Strategic Director for Children and Young People was asked about consultation with secondary schools about the proposal and whether they were interested in running such provision themselves (extract from Wembley Matters report of the meeting LINK):
Strategic Director of Children and Young People, Gail Tolley, told Cllr Jumbo Chan that she had raised with secondary school heads the possibility of them taking on the alternative provision but they had not been interested. Those recognised by the DfE as able to set up a free school could still apply during the procurement process. Cllr Chan said that an informal discussion was not sufficient and requested evidence of a formal consultation.  Union representatives protested that they had not been consulted as educational professionals on the Council's proposal.
The NEU made the following Freedom of Information request:
We understand that local Headteachers are opposed to a Free School, and that they had initially been approached to take on Roundwood as an extension of their own school. We formally request, under FOI, copies of any correspondence relating to this.
Brent Council responded:
There has been no correspondence between the Local Authority and local Headteachers in relation to whether they had been approached to take on Roundwood as an extension of their own school. This point was confirmed at the Scrutiny Committee meeting on 9th May 2019.
 The response is ambiguously worded but suggests that the local authority did not consult on what is a far reaching proposal for both local schools and the young people concerned.

No comments: