Parents come out against school’s Academy plans

Parents at a local primary school have set up a blog to voice their concerns about plans for it to become an Academy.

The Ask St Joseph’s Parents group (askstjosephsparents.wordpress.com) is concerned that the community of St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School on Selly Oak road have not been adequately consulted or given all the facts about academy conversion as part of a Multi Academy Company.
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In an email to bournvillevillage.com they said: “we demand an open and democratic consultation based on full and unbiased information, a public meeting with speakers for and against and a community vote.”

The group have written an open letter has now been sent to the School’s Interim Executive Board and the current leadership team. It claims that the school has not met its obligatory responsibility to adequately inform and consult with stakeholders about the Academy plans.

There is also a petition which has in excess of 50 signatures.

At the end of last year the school went into special measures after receiving an ‘inadequate’ rating by Ofsted. having previously been rated as ‘Good’.

The Ofsted report labelled the school’s leadership and management as inadequate: “because leaders, managers and governors have not acted swiftly enough to improve teaching and address the decline in attainment in Key Stage 1.”

Since then the school has undergone a series of management changes including losing its headmistress and several teachers. A new headmistress is due to start in September.

The school draws pupils from Bournville, Kings Norton and further afield and has a single class intake each year.

The school is part of a consortium of catholic schools which intend to join a Catholic Multi Academy Company.

5 comments on “Parents come out against school’s Academy plans

  1. Parent’s should have the opportunity to hear both the benefits and negatives of entering into the MAC. I have questions about the external support for SEN children which currently comes from Birmingham City Council, were will this now be sourced from? I am also concerned about the changes to staff contracts and the reality that they can simply be moved from school to school at the whim of management, how do they feel? I simply don’t feel informed enough about such a significant change to the school.

  2. As a parent l would like to see a bit of transparency in the form of a public meeting. If becoming an academy is good for the school debate it, just feels like a closed shop so far with no room or opportunity for debate.

  3. I have two points to make. 1) I am all for academy conversion but this consortium is far too large. It works best at a smaller configuration and certain not when it’s including a vastly larger secondary school. It’s clear to see that the power will be held by Thomas Aquinas here. 2) what input have staff had? Their contracts including pay for newly appointed staff will alter as can their working environment and hours.

  4. As a parent of three children in the school I am concerned that the discussions of whether to proceed to MAC status was properly heard and a full discussion undertaken about the Pro’s and Cons with the parents and wider community. In particular I am concerned about the transparency of funding for SEN provision in the school and what it means for the very good teachers when their terms and conditions of employment change. On the face of it you can summarise the process as a massive risk for little gain.

  5. I feel that considering this conversion to Academy status is irreversible, we as parents should be given more information as the questions that many of us have, have gone unanswered.