King's Stanley Primary School campaigners aim for district council support
4:01pm Wednesday 9th October 2013 in News
A GROUP set-up to fight what it perceives as an underhand attempt to convert King’s Stanley Primary School into an academy is hoping to secure the support of Stroud District Council for its campaign.
Save King’s Stanley action group has presented a petition containing 1,100 signatures to the authority calling on it to debate a possible scenario in which the Government tries to force the school into becoming an academy.
Alan Bladon, the chairman of SKS and sponsor of the petition, says the group have taken the step because they are eager to get the district council to acknowledge that any decision about the future of the school should be taken locally and not by central government.
The petition’s submission comes after King’s Stanley Primary was placed into special measures following a critical Ofsted report in May, which rated the school ‘inadequate’ only four years after it was judged to be ‘outstanding’.
Parents, teachers and governors have since dismissed Ofsted’s findings as flawed following the release of SATS results in July, which showed that over 60 per cent of year six pupils at the school achieved higher than the expected level.
The impressive results have led to accusations that the inspection, which was carried out by a private contractor, was politically motivated and designed to coerce the school into applying for academy status.
District councillors will consider the action group’s petition at a meeting of the full council tomorrow (Thursday, October 10).
The agenda item members will consider reads: “This is a petition containing 1,100 signatures in support of Kings Stanley Primary School to formally ask the council for a debate to protect the school from being forced into academisation.”
SKS chairman Alan Bladon, who has two children at the school, said: “We are asking the district council to recognise that King’s Stanley Primary is in a position it shouldn’t be.
“We want to get SDC on our side and we are looking for local people to stand up and say these are local decisions and any attempt by central government to force the school against its will just goes against the principle of localism.”
An Ofsted spokesperson has previously told the SNJ that the watchdog is ‘independent' and not concerned with 'furthering any political agenda’.
"Our overall objective is to ensure that all children, regardless of the postcode they come from and regardless of whether they attend an academy, free school or maintained school, have access to a good quality education," they said.
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