Local developments

After a ‘winter lull’ things are beginning to happen locally. There has been some good news with Bispham Drive and Bramcote Hills Primary schools. Both sets of governors have decided to delay a decision on ‘academy conversion’ for a while. In the case of Bispham it is not clear whether this is due to the pressure brought to bear by members of staff who oppose academisation. The delay is only until the end of the academic year so there is no room for complacency. At Bramcote Hills Primary, a good process of calm consideration of the pros and cons has led to a decision to ‘wait and see’ and look again in a year’s time. This is how all schools should have been approaching this momentous decision, but, sadly, few have.

The consultation period for Fairfield Primary ends shortly — 22nd February — and it is important that everyone who has a view lets the governors know before that date*. This group is currently drafting a letter that will be sent in the next few days. We do not know what will happen after 22nd: will the governors publish the results of their consultation?

A meeting of primary school teachers who might possibly be affected by academisation was held recently.

Wherever we hear of potential conversions, we almost always hear of subterfuge, small groups of governors acting without the knowledge of the whole body, letters being sent without the prior knowledge of the full governing body, teaching staff kept in the dark until the last minute, governors, parents and teachers only being given arguments FOR the conversion. It makes you wonder: what are the proponents of academies afraid of!

There are also a lot of developments nationally regarding academies, with revelations that Michael Gove is considering privatisation of academies (and free schools) and also that his officials have been offering ‘bribes’ to schools who are reluctant to convert.

It is also becoming clear that the act of converting is not the end of the matter. We know of two schools (academies) in our area who are undergoing some kind of ‘merger’.

Now is absolutely the WRONG time to be deciding to take what is, of course, a once-and-for-all-time decision.

*Go to the Fairfield school website at http://www.fairfield.notts.sch.uk click on the ‘Contact us’ button, scroll down and complete the contact form (remembering to press ‘Send’ when you have done!)

Fairfield academisation: opposition mounts

A meeting on Wednesday evening (16th January) revealed considerable opposition to proposals for Fairfield Primary School in Stapleford to convert to an academy,  among parents at the school and those at nearby William Lilley Infant School. This site has been contacted by several people who were at the meeting. One of them listed concerns expressed at the meeting,  including a possible rise in costs for activities, the expectation that parents purchase iPads for their children and the speed with which the proposal is being rushed through.

Another commented: “A group of parents from William Lilley Infant & Nursery School who attended the meeting at Fairfield are, I believe, not happy with the proposals for academy status and the lack of notice given to them before a decision is made. They are planning to take further action.”

The consultation period has been set to run until 15th February and Hands Off Notts Schools would support parents in urging the governors at Fairfield not to make a decision until that process has been completed.

If you are a parent at Fairfield or another local school, such as William Lilley, or a local resident, and you are opposed to the academy conversion, we would urge you to contact the Chair of Governors at Fairfield to express your opposition. You might also wish to request that the governors do NOT make a final decision at least until after the end of the stated consultation period, and that the governors should conduct a proper ballot to determine accurately the feelings of all parents at the school and at ‘feeder’ schools.

 To contact the school you can:

  • write to: The Chair of Governors, Fairfield Primary School, Toton Lane, Stapleford, NG9 7HB
  • email ‘theoffice@fairfield.notts.sch.uk’, putting ‘FAO Chair of Governors’ in the subject line
  • go to the school website at ‘www.fairfield.notts.sch.uk’, click on the ‘Contact us’ button, scroll down and complete the contact form (remembering to press ‘Send’ when you have done!)

Fairfield: leaflets and meeting

Members of this group distributed leaflets — detailing arguments against academisation — to parents at the end of the school day, in advance of the meeting timed for 5 pm. If you attended that meeting and would like others to know what went on, use the ‘Contribute’ button on our Home page to give us details. Your name will not appear, unless you want it to.

Tuesday’s meeting : CHANGE OF VENUE

Please note that the venue for Tuesday’s meeting of the group (15th January – 7.30 pm) has been changed to

Oban House (Broxtowe Volunteer Bureau), just up from the Post Office and opposite the church.

AGENDA:

  • Primary conversions – Rushcliffe, Fairfield, Bispham Drive Junior School, Toton,
  • Free schools (West Bridgford and Arnold/Sherwood) – organise public meeting/s?
  • Website
  • Roles in Hands Off Our Schools

Fairfield Primary School in Stapleford will consult on academy status in January 2013

Fairfield Primary School in Stapleford will hold its first formal parental consultation meeting about academy status on 16 January 2013 at 5.00p.m. in school hall.
In June 2012 the Governors at the school made an expression of interest to become an Academy. The school has told parents that this is now something that it is fully investigating as an option for Fairfield for September 2013.

By July 2012, primary academy converters made up only 3% of all state funded primary schools.