THE headteacher of a Kirklees school has hit back at criticism from council leader Robert Light.
John McGee, of Whitcliffe Mount Business and Enterprise College, in Cleckheaton, accused Clr Light of making “disparaging” and “divisive” remarks.
As reported in Thursday’s Examiner Clr Light said schools in Kirklees were under-performing.
He also explained why he had sent his own son, Matthew, to Dixons City Academy in Bradford instead of Whitcliffe Mount, the nearest Kirklees school.
He said the family wanted a small high school with good academic standards.
He added: “Dixons is a mixed ability school, with an emphasis on its children, excellent specialist sports, arts and IT facilities and brilliant pastoral support.
“That is lost in the big schools and that’s where they are going wrong at Whitcliffe.”
But Mr McGee said: “To correct this inaccuracy I am pleased to report that Ofsted said of Whitcliffe Mount: ‘The pastoral system is a key strength of the school; pupils and students are supported very well.’
“Sport and extra curricular provision are extensive and of a high standard in the school and Ofsted describe it as ‘a significant strength,’ highlighting provision in sport and the arts.”
He said ICT was one of the highest performing subjects in the school.
“Unlike Clr Light, we do not engage in making disparaging remarks about other schools and professionally we respect Dixons City Academy for the standards it achieves and the quality of its provision,” he added.
Clr Light said hundreds of children, especially in Birstall and Batley, left Kirklees to go to school outside the district.
Mr McGee said: “It is correct to say that a significant number of families in the Batley and Birstall area choose to send their children to schools elsewhere.
“However, Whitcliffe Mount Pyramid attracts the highest proportion of out-of-district families, who have contributed to Whitcliffe Mount being oversubscribed for the last decade.
“Currently 25% of the pupils on roll come from outside the school’s priority admission area, including 15% from Bradford.”
He added: “We are a member of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and work as part of the schools national network, basing our approach upon collaboration and not a divisive approach to education.”
The council is currently deciding how to spend £400m on education in the district under the Building Schools for the Future programme.