Parents fight Bournville’s Academy ambitions

PARENTS of children at Bournville School & Sixth Form Centre have begun a campaign against the school’s plans to convert to Academy status which the school claim is necessary if it’s not to head into ‘the unknown’.

Sarah Barton, who has a daughter in year 7 at the school, is leading the campaign after becoming concerned about how the school’s consultation on the change of status was being conducted. In May, Head Teacher Barbara Easton sent a letter about the proposed move to Academy status to parents which Mrs Barton claims was misleading and scaremongering in tone.

She then wrote to Barbara Easton and the Chair of Governors Ian Mackenzie requesting that full details of the consultation process be made clear to all parents. Mrs Barton has now started a paper petition calling for a full parental consultation to include a meeting in an open forum in which speakers for and against Academy conversion are allowed to put their views. She is seeking assurance that Academy conversion will only happen with the understanding and support of a majority of parents.

Mrs Barton claims that when pupils returned to school after the half term holiday they were told in assemblies that ‘it is not an option’ for Bournville School to stay as it is, that the choice is between becoming an Academy or ‘the unknown’.

Sixth-form students have also been campaigning for student consultation with the school now undertaking a special student consultation on Tuesday 5th July. Teachers at Bournville School are also opposed to Academy conversion with 75 staff from 3 different unions having signed a letter of opposition.

The school has begun a formal period of consultation which started on Monday 20th June and runs until Friday 9th September.

Parents are holding a meeting on 12th July, 5pm, at Rowheath Pavillion to which Bournville School Governors and Head Teacher have been invited to speak. They have also started a Facebook group.

Bournville Academy Meet

Bournville is one a number of schools that is considering Academy status. The Department For Education has published a list of schools that have either made an application or been approved:

Data (update 1st June 2011) from Dept. For Education.

Bournville Village Council Blog also has some coverage of this story.

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