An action group launched to fight plans to turn the failing Highfield Humanities College into an academy have called for an investigation to be launched.
The newly-formed Highfield Residents Action Group (HRAG) claim governors at the South Shore school were railroaded into choosing the Tauheedul Education Trust (TET) as a sponsor, and described the four-week consultation period as ‘woefully inadequate’.
The group has now complained to the national school commissioner Frank Green and said it wants a decision deferred until parents have been ‘properly’ consulted.
At a meeting at the Stanley Ward Conservative Club in Common Edge Road on Tuesday evening, around 100 parents discussed the government’s plans to hand Highfield over to TET.
Chairman Richard Hayden said: “What we do feel is this has been done without any proper consultation.
“Three options were explored by the board but only one was really an option it would appear.
Three options were explored by the board but only one was really an option it would appear.Chairman Richard Hayden
“Cidari [a Blackburn-based Church of England multi-academy trust] said they would have considered it but had the maximum number of special measures schools so it could not take it on.
“With Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT), the governors said they analysed exam results and schools they represented had not improved significantly in the two years FCAT had been in charge.
“That left TET.”
HRAG said its key objectives are to defer the academisation, look at alternative options, seek more transparency, and act as a voice for parents with children at the school.
Mr Hayden added: “We don’t have a lot of time. It’s only four weeks’ consultation [until October 21]. It’s woefully inadequate.”
A spokesman for TET and the governing body said: “We are pleased to see the high levels of involvement in the process so far and encourage people to respond over the next two weeks.
“We will continue to hold ongoing meaningful conversations with parents, pupils and local people which will help to shape the school.”
FCAT CEO Felicity Greeves said: “We have had only one academy for two years and that academy is no longer in. or at risk of, an Ofsted category.
“FCAT has only had its other two academies for one year and it is pleasing to report that progress measures and examination results both improved this summer.
“We accept the decision of Highfield’s governing body and wish Tauheedal well.”