Response to "Two Sides to Every Academy"

Response to “Two Sides to Every Academy

I am writing in response to the story, “Two Sides to Every Academy” published in the February edition of the Messenger. In particular I would like to offer some corrections to some key inaccuracies and also to offer some of my own views. I know, of course, that some people are not in favour of Parkwood becoming an academy and I completely respect their views. I do believe it is important, however, for everyone to hear a balanced view of the arguments for and against.

The Academy will not be a limited company as stated in the story and Edutrust, as the sponsor, are a not for profit charitable

organisation. There is no suggestion that the Academy will be a “business” – it will be an educational institution! Edutrust are very clear in their aims and aspirations for young people and academies – their website is very informative:

Edutrust have always been very clear about helping Parkwood achieve its vision and they see this as “partnership and not takeover”. This sentiment was clearly expressed at both public meetings but does not come across in the story as written. The school governors view this as essential and were first attracted to working with Edutrust because of this complete commitment to partnership working.

The issue of governance is made much of in the story. The governing body for the Academy will reflect the communities served by the school within the legal framework provided by the government.

I was surprised to see the word “gamble” ascribed to me in the article. That is certainly something that I would never do with the future of Parkwood. I did, however, speak about the need for Parkwood, in common with all organisations, to take risks from time to time. It was really good to hear so many people express confidence in the school and acknowledge the improvements that have been made – all of these have been because we have taken risks. This was clearly acknowledged within our recent Ofsted Inspection – when we have been brave and have innovated we have been successful. I think that is a bit different to “gambling”!

I think it is unfair to describe both meetings as tense – the second one certainly was but not the first. Also – at the first meeting I think it would be fairer to describe the “gulf” being between the vast majority of the audience and the small number of questioners who raised issues of concern.

The Council have now accepted the recommendations of the Neighbourhood Commission to allow the process to move forwards into the next stage. During this stage there will be plenty of opportunity to discuss the vision for the Academy. I really hope that as many people as possible will take the opportunity to work with us so that if it does go ahead then it will be the best possible school for the young people and the local communities and for the City. I hope that the Messenger can play a role in helping with this debate and discussion over the coming weeks.

Finally, can I extend an open invitation to readers to visit the school – I am happy to show people around at any time and the young people love seeing visitors in the school who are interested in what they are doing and achieving.

Chris Mallaband, Headteacher, Parkwood High School

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The content on this page was added to the website by Chris Blythe on 2008-04-04 18:59:34.
The content of the page was last modified by Jamie Marriott on 2008-04-07 12:10:09.

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