Clr Cahal Burke accuses Lindley Junior School of rushing academy conversion
A COUNCILLOR has accused governors of rushing through radical changes to a Huddersfield school.
Lindley Junior School has applied to become an academy.
If the change goes ahead in September, Kirklees Council would lose any say in the running of the George Street school.
Lindley Lib Dem Clr Cahal Burke believes governors are hurrying through the change without consulting parents and residents.
“The consultation has been too rushed,” he said yesterday.
“Lindley Juniors don’t have to consult with the wider community – they can do as little or as much consultation as they see fit.
“You would think that a good, up-standing school would want to consult with everybody but that hasn’t happened. You wonder if there’s something to hide.
“The school belongs to the community, not to the teachers or the chairman of governors.”
On Wednesday a group of concerned mums asked councillors to launch a special inquiry into the consultation.
They accused the governors of sending a “one-sided” letter to parents about academy conversion and of ignoring a request to attend a public meeting on the issue.
Clr Burke will investigate the consultation in his role as chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel for Children and Young People.
He said: “We’ll be looking into this to see what lessons can be learned.”
Clr Burke is a governor at Salendine Nook High School – which is also consulting on becoming an academy.
He said: “The governors will meet on July 6 to decide whether to become an academy. I’ve asked for the consultation to be extended because I think it’s been too quick.
“I’ve no problems with academies, but people need to be informed to make the right decision.”
The Examiner contacted Lindley Juniors yesterday for a comment.
The paper was told that headteacher Pat Thompson was unavailable and that the chairman of governors Paul Robinson was away on business.