Petition over school plans

Montgomery HIGH School Bispham
Montgomery HIGH School Bispham
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A PETITION is set to be handed to governors at Montgomery High School as it announced proposals to join the Government’s controversial academy scheme.

The All Hallows Road school is consulting with staff, governors and parents over whether to apply for academy status.

That would mean the school would be outside local authority control and instead directly funded by the Government.

It gives greater freedom of curriculum and allows them to set staff pay and terms and conditions.

But the plans have met with an angry response from members of the National Union of Teachers.

On Monday, a petition signed by half the staff at the school will be handed to governors.

A public meeting with parents is also planned for the Red Lion Pub on Devonshire Road Bispham, at 7pm on Thursday.

Roz Homer, Blackpool NUT representative, said: “Members are very concerned about Montgomery’s academy proposals as we believe the scheme draws away money from other schools in the authority.

“It is already a very good and high performing school and we do not understand the need for it to convert to an academy.

“The headteacher of Montgomery and the head of governors have been invited to attend the meeting on Thursday.”

Two schools on the Fylde coast have already been granted academy status, Hambleton Primary School and Hodgson High, Poulton.

Garstang High is also pursuing plans to convert and Westcliff Primary School in Bispham has also consulted parents.

According to figures released by the Government, more than 40 per cent of schools are now academies or planning to convert.

Education secretary Michael Gove said this would bring “higher standards all round”.

But a storm of protest has met the scheme from the outset with teaching unions saying it would “fracture” the education system

Headteacher Simon Brennand said: “In common with many schools, the governors are exploring issues related to conversion to academy status.

“They have launched a consultation to fully evaluate potential advantages and disadvantages.

“Governors remain committed to Montgomery as a comprehensive school serving its community with respect and pride.

“They also retain an absolute commitment to the wellbeing of the whole organisation and a happy, motivated workforce.

“A full and thorough consultation will be held before a decision is made.”

The consultation process will run until December 9 with further details available from the school.