Thoughts of a Parkwood parent

Thoughts of a Parkwood parent

Parkwood High School’s academy proposal is not a win-win situation and it will affect your children – so you need to be aware and involved in the process.

The school is led by Chris Mallaband but there is at present no guarantee that he will be allowed to stay on as head of an academy. This is not good news. Ofsted rate the school “good” with “outstanding” bits so why put that at risk?

There are other issues, firstly being perception. Academies have previously been a last-gasp attempt to fix failing schools. Parkwood is not a failing school and, although academy status is not purely for this type of school, there is a stigma attached to it. Is this how we want outsiders to view Parkwood?

The next issue is the building, which is in need of a major facelift. Offering a new build if the school goes ‘academy’ seems a crass attempt at blackmail. If a new build is needed (and it is), the status of the school should not come into it.

The council is leading on this proposal and it is they who make the decisions. The option they have chosen for Parkwood is with a private partner which will mean opting out of local control. Perhaps it’s time for our local councillors to climb off their fences and let us know what they really think.

So what will academy “status” actually bring to the school? Edutrust can choose the curriculum and bring their expertise to bear on all aspects of the school. The financial gain is overstated and in all likelihood the extra costs will mean less money to spend per pupil.

There is already some vocal opposition to the proposal. Sheffield Anti-Academy Alliance has been quite active in the consultation meetings so far and is pushing for an open debate. Some of their arguments are persuasive and, as a parent, I believe they have a right to have their say, even if I don’t agree with all they say.

Finally, my message to all involved: don’t sit in silence, have your say. It is your children’s future at stake. Remember the Ofsted report: it would be a real shame if this great work was undone by making the wrong choice now.

Mick Ibbotson, Longley Resident and Parent

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The content on this page was added to the website by Chris Blythe on 2008-04-04 18:55:35.
The content of the page was last modified by Jamie Marriott on 2008-04-07 12:10:32.

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