Thursday 18 July 2013

Council backs parents’ campaign

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Sandwell Council is backing a campaign to stop a school from becoming an academy by inviting Government officials to see for themselves how much it has improved.

Borough schools boss Councillor Simon Hackett is urging Department for Education (DfE) officials to revisit Galton Valley Primary School to talk to staff, governors, pupils and parents.

The move comes as parents battle DfE plans to make the Smethwick school an academy, partnering it with London-based Oasis Community Learning.

Education Secretary Michael Gove ruled the school should become an academy after an Ofsted inspection in February 2012 judged its performance “inadequate”.

However, recent visits by inspectors have rated the school’s improvement as good.

Cllr Hackett said,”It has been a year since the DfE Academy Brokers visited the school and made the decision to turn it in to an academy.

“However, Galton Valley primary has made tremendous strides since the Ofsted verdict and I don’t think the Government has fully realised this.”

“There is no need or desire for the school to become an academy because it has already turned itself around and is delivering a good education for pupils.

“I want DfE officials to visit so they can see the school as it is now rather than as it was.”

Parents last week handed in a 1,553 signature petition to the DfE calling for it to rethink its academy plans.

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