LEADERS of the Keep Shelley Pyramid campaign are questioning Shelley College’s claims that middle school teaching is below par.
In its consultation document, the academy has included statistical charts which indicate that Shelley Pyramid teachers of Year 8 pupils (12-year-olds) are below average.
Keep Shelley Pyramid (KSP) spokesman Simon Pocock said: “We don’t recognise the data which Shelley College is basing their opinions on, and we are not convinced of their data.
“They are cherry-picking, comparing different sets of figures, age groups and years. They are comparing apples with oranges and their data conflicts with Ofsted.
“The consultation document does not put forward a strong case for the two-tier system and I am certainly not willing to risk my own children’s education based on these beliefs – especially when we have such a great system now.
“Our own reasons for supporting the three-tier (middle school) system are based on independent factual data from Ofsted.
“This evidence states that the children are beyond doubt ahead of where they should be when they enter Shelley College.”
Mr Pocock and several members of the KSP campaign met with MP Simon Reevell on Saturday to voice their concerns over Shelley’s expansion plans.
This followed a march by hundreds of protesters against the move.
He said that Mr Reevell had told the protesters that any decision on the proposal would ultimately be made on which education system was best for the children of the area.
Skelmanthorpe resident Mr Pocock, who has two children in pyramid schools, said: “I for one absolutely believe that answer lies in our current system.
“I have seen the independent data and the Ofsted reports, and the middle school are performing above average.”
He added that in the 48 hours up to yesterday lunchtime more than 700 members of the public living locally had, via Facebook, become members of KSP, meaning they were willing to be associated with the pressure group.
Responding to Shelley governors’ comments in Tuesday’s Examiner, Mr Pocock expressed disappointment that principal John McNally had experienced “nastiness” from some quarters.
He said: “It is unhelpful and unpleasant when people respond in this way and it does not represent the views of KSP.
“This is not a witch hunt. We are not saying we don’t like Shelley, we love Shelley.
“It is a very good upper school, part of the pyramid system which works so well.”
He appealed to Shelley governors: “Please drop the proposals and come back to the Pyramid. Let’s get over it and get on.”