Celebrities who backed campaign to prevent Sheffield school becoming an academy congratulate parents
The school was told on Thursday by Education Secretary Gillian Keegan that an order forcing it to academise had been revoked with immediate effect.
The news came nine days after the publication of a fresh Ofsted report which judged the school ‘Good’ in all areas – inspectors had previously found KES to be ‘Inadequate’ just nine months earlier.
Def Leppard frontman and Sheffield United fan Joe Elliott, who attended KES in the early 1970s, told parents: “It feels like another promotion!”
The 63-year-old, who had recorded a video message in June endorsing the battling parents’ campaign, added: “Massive congratulations to all involved in getting the decision overturned.”
Graham Fellows, the musical funnyman whose alter-ego John Shuttleworth is a star of Radio 4, said: “What a relief! Congratulations to all who fought so hard to overturn this ridiculous academy order.”
Graham, who was brought up in Broomhill and went to KES from 1970 to ‘77, said the revocation was ‘a total victory for common sense’ and added: “It was a decision that should never have been taken in the first place.”
And the music producer and DJ Toddla T – real name Tom Bell – who attended the school from 1996 to 2001, said: “Well done KES and all involved for swerving an academy slam dunk.
“I hope the school continues to be a launch pad, like it helped me.”
The 38-year-old, best known for his 11-year stint on BBC Radio 1 and who is married to superstar DJ and novelist Annie Mac, previously told The Star he wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for King Edward VII School.
Families were today celebrating a victory for parent power for the last local authority-maintained secondary school in Sheffield.
Hundreds had taken part in a parent-led campaign against moves to force the school to join a multi-academy trust, and organised a rally, petition, and celebrity support.
In a letter to parents on Thursday, headteacher Linda Gooden said: “We were on the verge of being academised and losing control of our destiny.
“It is an overwhelming, astonishing and rare achievement to be able to transform the fortunes of the school in such a short space of time, so that we can control the future plans of our unique school for the communities that we serve.”
She added: “We will go through a period of reflection before taking the next steps to consider the future of our iconic and successful school.
“I extend a heart-felt thank you for the role you, as our parent body, have played in this process and our success.”