Academy meeting tonight

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A TOP Sheffield school’s plans to become an academy next term are to be discussed by parents tonight.

Governors have rejected calls for the meeting at Tapton School in Crosspool to be open to the public, staff or campaigners wishing to argue the case against academies.

A call for a ballot to seek the views of parents has also been turned down.

Tapton is being fast-tracked to academy status under legislation passed by the Government which allows outstanding schools to convert within a matter of months.

The school says it has sent letters to all parents and only a handful have raised objections.

It also argues that Tapton faces serious cuts to its funding over the next three years and that extra cash supplied through academy status will be vital in helping the school maintain its high academic standards.

Parents objecting to the plans say a ballot held among staff showed overwhelming opposition to the proposals, with 64 against and only four in favour.

“If the Tapton governors are so convinced about academy status being the right move, then let’s have an open, honest, public debate where they and others can put their points to all involved. After this a ballot should be conducted,” said parent Michael Hughes.

Chair of governors Caroline Bagley said the local authority in its old role no longer existed and no longer provided many of the services the school required.

“As an academy standards will continue to improve. Without the additional funding we would be making 15 members of staff redundant from September,” she added.