Salendine Nook High School and Lindley Junior School accused of ‘rushing’ to become academies

PARENTS are not being properly consulted on radical school changes, a councillor claimed last night.

PARENTS are not being properly consulted on radical school changes, a councillor claimed last night.

Clr Christine Stanfield is worried that Lindley Junior School and Salendine Nook High School are rushing to become academies.

Both schools plan to move out of Kirklees Council influence by September.

But Clr Stanfield believes the schools are moving too quickly.

The Lindley Lib Dem said yesterday: “This is a one-way journey into the unknown and both parents and governors are asking why there is such a rush and why there has been so little debate.

“Guidelines for academies state that governors need only consult ‘those they deem necessary’. This sounds as if it is designed to be exclusive rather than inclusive.

Salendine Nook High’s board of governors will decide whether to convert to an academy on Wednesday. Lindley Juniors is also due to change-over in September.

But Clr Stanfield believes parents need more time to consider the issue.

“Parents from Salendine Nook have told me that they have received no information at all from the school,” she said.

“I was told that notes were sent home to the parents, but these were sent via the children rather than by post. How many parents have found illegible school notes in the pockets of clothes after they have gone through the washing machine?

“Also, why were the notes only sent out in English when there are many parents whose first language is not English?

“There are teachers, parents and governors who are deeply concerned at what appears to be a headlong rush to be an academy.

“There may well be advantages but I have been approached by parents of children from both Salendine Nook and Lindley Junior who feel that they have not been included in the decision making.

“Furthermore, parents from Lindley Juniors came as a deputation to the last council meeting as they were so worried.”

Clr Stanfield added: “From my conversations with parents, staff and governors at both schools it appears the main reason schools are opting to become academies is the belief they will get more money at a time when schools are facing savage cuts.

“Our whole future depends on the quality of our schooling and the decision making process should not be in the hands of the governors alone.”

The Examiner contacted Lindley Juniors yesterday to ask if head teacher Pat Thompson wished to comment on Clr Stanfield’s concerns. No response was forthcoming.

The Examiner contacted Salendine Nook High yesterday to ask if head teacher Christine Spencer wished to comment on Clr Stanfield’s concerns. There was no response.

 

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