Governors give go-ahead to school’s opt-out plans

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GOVERNORS at a top Sheffield secondary have voted by a large majority to seek to turn it into an academy - despite a campaign by a parents’ protest group.

King Ecgbert School in Dore is expected to leave city council control within the next three to six months.

The move would bring the number of academies in the city to five - with two more secondaries also preparing to go down the same path.

A meeting of all King Ecgbert’s governors saw 16 voting for the plans, two against and one governor abstaining.

Chair of governors Ian Hewson said the decision had been taken in the best interests of the school.

“We are determined to defend and continue to improve the high standards and the rich curriculum we provide at King Ecgbert, and academy status will enable us to do this,” he said.

Headteacher Lesley Bowes said the decision would not change the school’s fundamental principles of inclusion and excellence and its ‘commitment to being an active participant’ in the Sheffield education community.

“We knew there would be opposition from some parents but we genuinely believe this is the right thing for the school,” she said.

“Academy status will enable us to continue with our work to further improve the school and strengthen our relationships with many other schools in the city.”

Protest group chair Andrew James said he was bitterly disappointed by the governors’ decision.

“The consultation process has been nothing more than a sham - this was a decision that in effect the key governors took many months ago,” he said.

“Had there been a fair parental ballot, in good time, prior to the decision being formally made, there would no doubt have been much more opposition. This may yet turn out to be a decision the governors regret in years to come.”