By Carl Jackson 15/06 Updated: 15/06 00:52
THE ORGANISER of a meeting on Waseley Hills High School's proposed move to academy status wants to hear from people willing to speak in favour of the plans.
Cormac Loane, Waseley parent and organiser, has secured three high-profile speakers against academies and a neutral chairperson. But, as yet, he has been unable to find speakers to talk in favour of them and wants to ensure the Ask Parents First meeting is completely fair, balanced and independent.
He now wants anyone interested in speaking 'for' academies to e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Among those speaking against academies will be Worcestershire County Councillor Peter McDonald, Richard Hatcher, secretary of the Anti-Academies Alliance, and Sarah Barton who led a succesful campaign to block Bournville School's move to become an academy.
Former Colmers headteacher Mike Gardener - now retired - will be the neutral chairperson at the meeting, which takes place at 7pm on Wednesday (June 20) at Beacon Church Centre, Whetty Lane.
Waseley's chair of governors Eric Hogg was invited to speak in favour of academy status, but stressed he had not expressed an opinion either one way or the other.
A vigorous debate has raged as to whether Waseley Hills High had consulted thoroughly and appropriately with parents over the move to academy status. The school maintained it has stuck rigidly to the legal schedule which actually requires minimal parental consulation and had kept parents up-to-date with developments through its text and letter service.
The National Governors Association strongly recommends parents are consulted and Waseley has vowed such discussions would be 'encouraged'.
On February 29 parents at Waseley, which has around 900 pupils, were invited to a presentation on the matter and that was attended by more than 30 parents.
A letter issued to parents in January promised a 'separate' meeting where parents' views would be heard and considered. However headteacher Alan Roll admitted that could have been 'misleading' as it referred to the February 29 meeting.
Mr Hogg also pointed out there had been two parent forums, which also had academy status on the agenda, and one specifically organised for parents of year six children, taking the total number of consultations to four.
And this week, Mr Roll said the school would be announcing shortly plans for its own parent consulation later this term.
Previous academy updates issued by Waseley High are available on their website at www.waseleyhills.worcs.sch.uk/
Anyone wanting more information on the Ask Parents First meeting can e-mail Cormac Loane at email@example.com
● The Standard wishes to clarify that Waseley Hills High's move to academy status is being handled by a working party which is a sub group of the school's board of governors and the application was sent and accepted by the Government's Department of Education and not Worcestershire County Council as reported in a previous article.
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