MORE than 90% of parents were opposed to Shelley College’s controversial expansion plans.
That’s one of the main findings of Kirklees Council’s non-statutory consultation, the results of which have just been published.
Shelley had announced plans to look at accepting Year 7 and 8 pupils, but later dropped the plans after a furore.
Parents stated they felt the middle schools were an ideal “stepping stone” for children after being in smaller first schools which prepared them well for secondary school.
The majority also felt that the possible transition from a relatively small school to a potentially very large school would be daunting and intimidating.
An overwhelming majority of all people who responded felt that the existing three-tier system with high performing schools worked well and saw no reason to change it.
The council received 465 official responses during the process, which began on November 5. It actively ran until November 20 when Shelley governors formally withdrew their plans to accept Year 7 and 8 pupils following stiff opposition from local residents and parish councillors.
Responding to the question of whether they preferred a two-tier or three-tier education system for their children, only 23 of the 315 parents who responded said they preferred a two-tier system – with no middle schools.
Shelley College became an academy in 2011 and is answerable directly to the Government, not the local authority. But such was the strength of feeling in the area, Kirklees decided to run its own consultation in addition to the academy’s.
The council sent out over 6,000 documents to parents, teachers, governors, early years locations, trade unionists, neighbouring local authorities and the parish councils of Denby Dale and Kirkburton.