Colmore Junior and Infant Schools could become an academy.

In December the joint governing body voted to seek academy status for the schools, but this has been met with a mixed reaction from parents - either opposed to Colmore becoming an academy or objecting to the lack of consultation.

What do you think of this move?

In this document the school governors respond to recent questions

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Ask Colmore Parents are campaigning for a full consultation at Colmore Junior and Infant Schools before any decision is made to convert the schools to academies.

The attached leaflet explains our aims. 

For more details please see our website: askcolmoreparents.wordpress.com

 

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Latest web post from parents' group following meeting at All Saints.....

Colmore Schools’ official consultation period is due to end on 31/01/14. We believe the initial proposals to consult parents were woefully inadequate, consisting as they did of parents being told they could ‘ask questions’ and ‘make comments’. Taking a school out of local authority accountability and placing it in the hands of a trust made up of five people has potentially major consequences for pupils, parents, staff and the community. We believe it should be an open, democratic decision and not one that is rushed through as in many other academy conversions.

Governors’ minutes obtained by the group show that the schools believed they could convert to academy status by 01/04/14. They also show that a company specialising in academy conversions has been advising the school and has been hired to begin the legal process. These facts lead us to believe that there is indeed a rush to convert, with no apparent plans to consult in a formal way.

We are pleased that following parental pressure, the schools have held a series of small meetings with parents. We hope this will lead to more information being shared with parents and more parental involvement in the process. However, parents are not the only group of stakeholders who should be consulted on such a fundamental decision and we believe other groups including prospective parents must also be involved. This is why we are pressing for a public meeting, open to the whole community, where both sides of the argument can be heard.

We also believe the schools need to be open and clear about their reasons for proposing conversion. Governors decided two years ago that this route was wrong for the schools, so we have to ask whether convincing reasons are now being provided for this about-turn. Parents have not so far been given a proper detailed financial or educational assessment of the options for the future of the school. Many of the statements made to parents lack detail and can be classed as opinions or exaggerations rather than facts:

  • The council is about to implode. In fact, the local authority’s education budget is protected, and the total schools budget for 2014/15 will actually be higher than 2013/14. A majority of the schools in Birmingham remain within the local authority, including many successful schools in the Kings Heath area.
  • The new National Curriculum will stop us being able to teach creative subjects. In fact, there is enough flexibility within the new curriculum to continue providing the current provision, as we know from schools already teaching it locally. Although academies can opt out of the National Curriculum, very few actually choose to do so, and Colmore Schoos have not confirmed whether or not they actually propose to do so
  • The schools need to retain and reward staff. As successful schools with excellent staff, we do not think there is a major problem at Colmore Schools that makes academy conversion necessary.

We will therefore be asking Colmore Schools for answers to the following questions:

  • Will you set a timetable for proper consultation?
  • Will you provide detailed information about your reasons for proposing conversion?
  • Will you provide detailed information about what would change as an academy?
  • Will you consult the whole community through a public meeting?
  • Will you ballot parents to make sure our views are heard?

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