Leaflets target academy plans

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CONCERNED parents were this morning planning to start a campaign calling for more consultation on potential plans to turn Danum School into an academy.

The technology college, in Intake, is looking at setting up an arrangement with an education charity called CFBT. Teachers were informed at the end of the last term of the proposals, and parents were told in letters after pupils returned to lessons.

Headteacher Dr Kelvin Simmonds said the trust is already involved with several schools across the country, including many in neighbouring Lincolnshire.

But one parent was today planning a leaflet campaign raising concerns over the speed at which he feels the move is progressing.

James Bullock, who is a primary school teacher and has children aged 12 and 14 at Danum, said he wants more time for parents to discuss the proposals with both the school and the charity before any final decision is made.

He said: “We have three weeks of consultation, which is legal, but I don’t think it is enough for something which I regard as a big decision.

“I think there will be a lot of parents who are unhappy at the rush to academy status. I would like a public meeting with the school and the charity before any decision is made, so we can have the chance to ask questions.

“Some of the parents have got together and we will give out leaflets in the hope of getting a working group together to discuss this.

“The speed of this concerns me, because it is something I think will be irreversible.”

Headteacher Dr Simmonds said consultation started in mid April and he thought the timescale was reasonable. He said: “There is no official guidance but we have contacted each and every parent. We are trying to make sure every parent, member of staff, governor and community stakeholder has comprehensive information and can give their response. There is no agenda here. It is a genuine period of consultation.”