PUBLIC MEETING

Academisation of Woodside Primary School

EVERYONE WELCOME

Wednesday 27th March 6pm – 8pm

Goffs Village Hall – Goff’s Lane, Goff’s Oak, Hertfordshire, EN7 5ET

Please come along to the meeting about the proposed academisation of our local village school and find out:

  1. What joining the Ivy Trust Academy would mean to the school, children and Goffs Oak community
  2. Why we are opposed to the school joining the Ivy Trust and ways in which the local community can unite together to help stop this from happening
  3. Speakers include: parents, residents, the National Education Union and the Anti Academies Alliance

Support us by signing our petition

https://www.change.org/p/woodside-parents-council-keep-woodside-primary-within-our-local-authority

Email – handsoffwoodside@gmail.com

……………………………………………………………..

Summary to what we know so far

* Recent governmental evidence has shown that: academisation does not improve schools – LAs have a better record in school improvement. Further more, academy conversion does not benefit educational attainment in primary school

* Academies have fewer freedoms.  Decisions that are now taken at school level will be taken by the Multi Academic Trust (MAT).

* The Guardian Education reported that many academies struggle with unsustainable debt (31/01/19)

* Much higher percentage of Academys then LA schools “off-roll” pupils to other schools within MATS so that children with lower academic attainment and SEND children do not bring down overall grades. They are also well known to “bus” children with SEND to one school on order to save resources as they then do not need to pay for specialist support across all of their schools.

What is going on with Woodside School?

*Firstly it was reported that the school has been looking at academisation for six months or was it a year?

* A Full Governing Body meeting took place on 17 January 2019.  There is no documented evidence any planned meetings around academisation.

* We as a group of concerned parents await replies to emails of concerns and requests sent as far back as 12 February 2019.  These concerns are not in the Woodside School FAQs (Frequently asked questions) published on their website. There were serious letters of concerns from parents attempting to take an active part in the consultation process.

* It is reported that the Head Teacher claimed ‘she cannot get us to an outstanding level (as part of the OFSTED report), without the support of Ivy MAT’.  However, none of the other schools within the Trust are at an outstanding level.

What’s next?

* A formal complaint has now been made to the Department for Education, requesting that the Secretary of State does not sign the order for Academy conversion until a full investigation takes place on the following grounds;

> Lack of transparency leading up to the announcement of the consultation process

> Removal of threat that ‘If Woodside does not become part of the MAT. this could mean the loss of  the Head Teacher’.  This was said publicly the first parents meeting, no further explanation given.

> Lack of representation of parents on the Governing Body. DfE Governors Handbook outline that 1/3 of the governing body should be parents. Over the past 12 months, there was only one parent Governor, who was the Chair of Governors.  Only recently an appointment  was made by the Governing Body as there were no other applications.

> There appears to be no clear reason for the option of becoming an Academy or for choosing the Ivy Trust

>There is no evidence of the Staff input on the potential change to the Ivy Trust.

Let’s unite

If the schools’ Governing Body agree to go ahead and convert to an academy, it is irreversible once the financial assets are transferred as is legally binding.  Please, parents, community and staff at Woodside, let us unite, for our children, and their children, and for all of our futures in Hertfordshire.  Once a conversion to an academy occurs, remember it really is irreversible.

We want our formal complaint to be heard by an independent body and parent and teacher surveys to be carried out.

What we want:

• A public meeting for fair hearing of the academies debate and what it means

• A meaningful and true consultation process, where the outcome hasn’t already been made by those conducting the consultation

• A formal parent body established to work as an ‘arm’ to the governing body presenting good parent representation

Let’s unite, to ensure that this is a democratic process, so those who wish to be a part of change feel confident to speak up without fear and to ensure that all have an opportunity to be heard.

A message to the Woodside School Governing Body

Please do not take your decision lightly – it could be your name against this potential damaging change.  Please make the right choice for the school and the children.  Look at the facts – Is this right for our school and the future generations to come? What has been presented seems to say No.

One thought on “Woodside School, Goffs Oak – Public meeting, Wednesday 27th March 2019, 6pm

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