By Carl Jackson 13/07 Updated: 14/07 00:27
WASELEY Hills High School will become an academy on September 1 after governors agreed to sign the final documents.
The motion was passed by the full governing body on Wednesday evening (July 11) with a majority vote.
Headteacher Alan Roll who will now become the academy’s new ‘principal’, reassured parents who have voiced concerns in recent weeks the move was in the best interests of the Rubery school.
He confirmed The Department for Education and local authority backed the conversion and vowed Waseley Hills High would continue to work with the local authority.
Mr Roll said: “This is not a step the school has taken lightly.
“I would like to reassure the community the widest possible views were taken into consideration.
“I hope the community can unite in support towards the school in helping to provide high quality education and fantastic opportunites for all our students.”
Around 100 stakeholders turned out at a consultation on the move to become an academy last Tuesday (July 3) still undecided despite the application nearing the final stages.
Parents who had campaigned against the conversion made a last stand Wednesday evening with a peaceful protest outside of the school gates as governors were arriving to make the decision.
They have argued they had not been consulted and pushed for a full advisory ballot on the issue, collecting more than 200 names in favour.
The school had rigoursly defended its handling of the matter, stating it had informed stakeholders thoroughly and kept to the DfE legal requirments. Governors deemed a vote unnecessary and discredited the petition as misleading.
Cormac Loane, who led the campaign, hailed it a success despite the school’s ulitmate decison.
He said: “We as parents are going to continue to hold governors to account so they behave in a fair and transparent way in the interest of Waseley pupils.
“We have demonstrated this is possible and parents should feel proud by that.
“We want to support the school being as succesful as possible as an academy.”
Worcestershire County Councillor Peter McDonald also pledged his support. Coun McDonald is a school governor and had backed the campaign.
“I hope the school continues to improve as an academy and I wish it all the best for the future.
“I am, however, bitterly disappointed that local parents didn’t get the opportunity to vote.
“My belief is the majority didn’t want it to convert and they deserved to have their views heard.
“Plenty will be keeping a keen eye on the school, although to all intents and purposes it is private now and won’t be as transparent.”
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