When news happens, text BONEWS and your photos to 80360 or phone 01204 537274
School’s anger at change to academy plan
9:23am Thursday 11th October 2012 in News
A SCHOOL in Radcliffe could be the first in the borough to be forced into becoming an academy.
Staff and governors at Radcliffe Primary School have been left “angry and upset” by the proposed move instigated by the Government.
The Department For Education (DfE) believes it is necessary because Radcliffe Primary is “underperforming” and was placed in special measures in April.
But headteacher Tim Power says the school had one bad year of exam results in 2011 and is already making progress, with 2012 results showing a 30 per cent improvement.
He believes the Coronation Road school should be allowed to remain as part of the local education authority and given time to improve.
Mr Power said: “The 2011 results weren’t good, but everyone knows that cohorts change year on year. We tried to give forecasts for 2012, which we thought were favourable, but we were put into special measures. There is nothing we can do to stop this. People are angry and upset. Because we are in the special measures category, we are being forced into becoming an academy.”
Chairman of governors, Carol Cain, said: “The teaching staff, the governors and the parents are against this. I would prefer to stay in Bury local education authority. They have a good track record of helping schools get out of special measures.”
Discussions have been taking place with a potential sponsor, whose identity has not yet been revealed.
Mark Carriline, executive director of children's services at Bury Council, said: "We have been in discussion with the DfE about this for some months and this is a disappointing move. We have a very strong track record of working with schools to help them come out of special measures and we don't see conversion to academy status as being of particular benefit.”
A Department for Education spokesman said: “We think support from an academy sponsor is the best way to improve schools that are underperforming.”