19th May, 2019

Parents concerned Sidemoor First School is 'going backwards' and being let down by the LEA

Tristan Harris 16th May, 2019 Updated: 16th May, 2019

A PARENT has expressed concerns about Sidemoor First School, saying it and the children had been let down by the Worcestershire County Council Local Education Authority (LEA).

In January The Standard was contacted by several parents who expressed concerns for the education the pupils were receiving.

Sarah Perrett and Justin Stokes jointly took over the role from an interim headteacher and a spokesperson for the authority said priorities and ‘next steps’ had been identified to take the school forward.

But the parent who contacted us this week said she felt, four months on, no noticeable improvements had been made and it felt like the school was ‘going backwards’.

She claimed her one child’s class had been taken by five different teachers since September.

She said a lot of things about the school were being learnt first hand from the children, rather than the acting headteachers and her emails and repeated calls to the heads had not been responded to.

She hit out, saying there had been no consultation or communication from the management team, adding it was as if the LEA had not been involved and had left the school to its own devices, reneging on its promises.

“The previous acting headteacher Mr Medway had a section in the fortnightly newsletter telling us what was being done but this seems to have been stopped.

“It is such a sad situation because it is a nice school and the teachers who are there long-term are fantastic but parents do not want to send their children there now.

“The school, the teachers and the children are being failed by the education authority – action should have been taken and I feel if the LEA had done its job properly it would not be in the position it is.”

She said she was not the only one and other parents she had spoken to had expressed the same fears.

She also claimed teachers had been brought in on short-term contracts and there was no real long-term plan.

Another parent has launched an online petition calling for a meeting with the LEA to discuss the school’s situation.

Visit change.org/p/lea-meeting for more information.

The joint interim heads, back in January, said they were looking forward to working alongside children, staff, parents and governors to ensure continued improvement.

Coun Marcus Hart, Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member for education and skills, said: “We have been supporting Sidemoor First School to improve its outcome for all children.

“A dedicated School Improvement Advisor has been assisting the school’s senior leaders to make much-needed improvement to teaching and learning.

“Working with the school’s governors, an action plan has been developed to support and improve the teaching, safeguarding and financial management of the school.

“A full school review is scheduled to take place after half-term and we will share a summary of the findings with parents.”

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