The ArgusAnger as Worthing High comes one step closer to becoming an academy (From The Argus)

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Anger as Worthing High comes one step closer to becoming an academy

A school has moved a step closer to becoming an academy amid protesters’ claims of a “whitewash”.

Education secretary Michael Gove has agreed “in principle” to Worthing High’s controversial planned conversion to academy status.

Debbie Woudman, chair of the school’s Parents’ Forum, complained parents and teachers had not been listened to.

She said: “I’m sort of crushed by the whole thing. The consultation has been laughable and we feel that the views of parents and teachers have been ignored.”

The school’s governors voted to send the academy application to the Department for Education in June.

In theory the move could be reversed up to the night before the first day as an academy.

Corianda Sweetman, who has two children at the school, said the fight to stop the conversion would go on.

She said: “The approval of the application has come as a disappointment, but by no means a surprise. This has been a complete whitewash from start to finish.

“We will continue to oppose this decision and to gather signatures of people who believe this would be the wrong thing to do. This isn’t over yet.”

A spokeswoman for Worthing High said a formal staff consultation would begin at the start of the autumn term.

She added the school was aiming to formally convert to a Converter Academy on November 1.

The change would only take place after the Funding Agreement and Articles of Association of the new Academy Trust have been approved by the Department for Education.

Liberal Democrat Worthing Borough councillor Bob Smytherman said Mr Gove’s decision to back the conversion was “outrageous”.

He said: “This has been rushed through during the school holidays and it shows complete contempt for the parents. Our biggest fear is that the school playing fields could be sold off to someone like Tesco to raise more money.”

Headteacher Alison Beer said: “Our staff had many opportunities and offers from myself and the governors to sit down and discuss any concerns.

“My focus is on ensuring the needs of students always come first and the governors believe that converting to an academy is the right decision to make for this school and our students.”

Comments (2)

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5:22pm Tue 21 Aug 12

Enema of the peephole says...

I do feel sad for the parents against this awful idea.

It's perhaps a good chance to see how thick or greedy the teachers are when considering that academies will eventually not be required to employ qualified teachers. The new "Fame academies" will presumably be concentrating on one core subject - the "x factor audition". A chance for every child to read out a personal sob story that the local (newly employed) heroin addict helped them write followed by some rap about da ghetto and break dancin' before learning how to sign on.

Aren't academies simply there to act as the proverbial bucket of sh1te at weddings...keeping the flies off the blushing brides that will remain "schools "?
I do feel sad for the parents against this awful idea. It's perhaps a good chance to see how thick or greedy the teachers are when considering that academies will eventually not be required to employ qualified teachers. The new "Fame academies" will presumably be concentrating on one core subject - the "x factor audition". A chance for every child to read out a personal sob story that the local (newly employed) heroin addict helped them write followed by some rap about da ghetto and break dancin' before learning how to sign on. Aren't academies simply there to act as the proverbial bucket of sh1te at weddings...keeping the flies off the blushing brides that will remain "schools "? Enema of the peephole
  • Score: 0

8:26am Thu 23 Aug 12

diggrave says...

I'm afraid, due to experience, that you don't stand a chance as the decision has already been made. I'm from Midhurst and the grammar school here has now been turned into an academy despite huge opposition from both teachers and parents. We too had a "consultation " which nobody listened too. I myself, attended many meetings where we were told it was "the only show in town" We were told it was a question and answers meeting but all that happened was an hour of spin/advertising, then after 3 questions was told that the meeting had overrun and we couldn't field any more. I wish you all the best and hope it works out for you but in reality you are just fighting a battle that has already been lost.
I'm afraid, due to experience, that you don't stand a chance as the decision has already been made. I'm from Midhurst and the grammar school here has now been turned into an academy despite huge opposition from both teachers and parents. We too had a "consultation " which nobody listened too. I myself, attended many meetings where we were told it was "the only show in town" We were told it was a question and answers meeting but all that happened was an hour of spin/advertising, then after 3 questions was told that the meeting had overrun and we couldn't field any more. I wish you all the best and hope it works out for you but in reality you are just fighting a battle that has already been lost. diggrave
  • Score: 0

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