Parents’ meetings over academy plans

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PARENTS puzzled about academies are being invited to attend three public meetings to be held across Sheffield over the next two weeks.

The roadshows have been organised as more governing bodies consider going down the academy route, and with two secondaries - Tapton and Yewlands - aiming to change their status in the autumn.

Education chiefs have arranged the events in the wake of increasing concerns over protests against a lack of parental consultation by some governing bodies.

The meetings aim to air both sides of the argument and provide parents with information about what the academy programme is all about.

They will explain what academies are, how schools will change and what the benefits may be for parents and pupils.

The events will also look at the likely impact for local communities and for Sheffield as a whole.

The three meetings are:

n Monday, July 11, in the Town Hall from 6.30pm until 8pm and aimed at families from the south and south west of the city.

n Tuesday, July 12 at Longley Park College from 7pm until 8.30pm and for families from the north and north east.

n Tuesday, July 19, at the Pakistani Muslim Centre in Attercliffe, from 6.30pm until 8pm for families from the east of the city.

A further meeting at the Town Hall on Monday, July 18, will examine the setting up of the new City Wide Learning Body.

The organisation is being created by education officers and headteachers to try to support the city’s ‘family of schools’ at a time when the creation of academies is encouraging governing bodies to be more independent.

The event, from 5.30pm till 7.30pm, will look at how schools, parents, the council and young people can work in future in partnership as more schools become academies.

Issues to be raised will include the quality of schools, helping children to succeed and how money should be spent.