Talks start on Academy plan

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CONSULTATION has begun as another primary school decides whether to convert to the Government’s controversial Academy scheme.

Roseacre Primary School began consulting with parents and staff on March 20.

Academy status gives schools freedom from local authority control, this means it can set its own pay and conditions, curriculum and be in charge of its own finances.

But teaching unions have been united in their criticism of the scheme.

Governors at Roseacre have reassured parents the views of the community will be “rigorously and openly” sought in the next five weeks.

Alana Frith, chairman of governors said: “Governors remain completely committed to Roseacre being a fully inclusive school, serving our local community and working with partnerships such as the Blackpool Primary Partnership and our Local Education Authority.

“Our aim is to provide the very best learning experiences.”

Simon Blackburn, (left), leader of Blackpool Council has set strict rules for schools making the change.

He has decreed any organisation sponsoring a school must be local and education-based.

So far only Montgomery High and Westcliff Primary have made the change, although Collegiate High, and Waterloo Primary are consulting.

Coun Blackburn said: “We’re trying very hard to maintain a close working relationship between all Blackpool schools.

“They need to ensure all concerned understand the serious implications of the ‘academisation’ of schools.

“If they choose the Academy route, the amount of help and support the council will be able to provide them with will be very limited in future, as we will lack the resources to help them.

“It is all well and good talking about wanting to continue to work with us, but choosing to make the break away from the council family of schools is a big step.”