Parents will march over academy plan

Parents attend a recent Highfield Residents Action Group meeting

Parents attend a recent Highfield Residents Action Group meeting

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Parents opposed to plans to turn Highfield Humanities College into an academy have organised a protest march.

The Highfield Residents Action Group said a peaceful demonstration would be held outside the school, the last in Blackpool under local authority control, from 11am on Saturday.

Chairman Richard Hayden

Chairman Richard Hayden

Chairman Richard Hayden said the march was organised without him and that he wouldn’t be there, although he has given it his backing.

He said: “There’s lots of things lots of people are doing and it’s happening more. There’s no point trying to control it.

“Obviously someone has decided to do it but I’m not against it. We are into anything that will raise our profile.

“If people are marching at the weekend, that’s positive and it will all go to demonstrate to Tauheedul Education Trust (TET) how we feel.”

There’s lots of things lots of people are doing and it’s happening more. There’s no point trying to control it.

Richard Hayden

TET is set to take control of the school which is being forced to become an academy.

Meanwhile, Liz Agbettoh, chief executive of the Cidari Multi Academy Trust, a Blackburn-based sponsor with roots in the Christian faith, has denied trying to persuade the school to convert to an academy at a recent meeting.

The school said Cidari was one potential option explored by governors.

The others were the Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT), which was dismissed because Unity, Montgomery and Aspire were ‘consuming its resources’, and TET, which was chosen.

Ms Agbettoh said: “We were invited by governors to tell them about Cidari.

“It was made clear the meeting was not a recruitment drive to persuade the school to convert, but merely an opportunity to share
 information and answer questions.

“At the end of the meeting, I told the governors if they had any further questions or wanted any more information, they could contact me or any member of my team.

“We have heard nothing from the school since.”

Felicity Greeves, from FCAT, said she accepted the governors’ decision, but emphasised FCAT was making ‘pleasing progress’ at all three of its high schools.

A spokesman for TET said: “We are working with all parties and encourage them to respond to the formal consultation.

“As well as those who still have questions, we have been immensely encouraged by the number of positive responses and verbal support we have had.”

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Calls for probe into Highfield’s academy plans - Read the full story here