Parent group fear Mablethorpe school ‘forced into’ academy proposal

Mablethorpe Primary.
Mablethorpe Primary.

A PARENT group has hit out at Mablethorpe Primary School’s plans to convert to an academy, claiming the move was ‘forced’ on them after a poor Ofsted report.

Save our Schools have condemned the school’s plan to work with Greenwood Dale Foundation Trust to become Mablethorpe Primary Academy, fearing ‘exclusion rates’ and a ‘lack of accountability’.

Sarah Dodds.

Sarah Dodds.

They say September’s Ofsted report which gave the school a four rating, lowest for effectiveness, was the reason for change.

The academy plans, announced in March, would see the change in time for the new term in September and the consultation with parents officially came to an end on April 20.

Sarah Dodds, of SOS, said: “We as a group oppose academies but particularly oppose those where the move has been forced on the school, which we believe to be the case here after the latest Ofsted report.

“We have huge concerns about academies, we fear exclusion rates to select elite pupils.

“We urge parents unsure about the change to contact us.”

SOS’s Andrew Austin had earlier said there were ‘no educational arguments’ for academies.

Mablethorpe Head, Catherine Teale, said in response: “The GDFT only works in areas of deprivation and runs schools that admit pupils only from their local community. They do not select in any way.

“Like many schools in the country, the governing body knew that they may come under pressure to convert and wanted to choose their own sponsor rather than having one imposed on them.

“Therefore, they took the pro-active approach and interviewed a number of different sponsors to find the best fit which was the Greenwood Dale Trust.”

Andy Breckon, Lincolnshire County Council’s Assistant Director of Children’s Services, said: “The change wasn’t forced on the school by the county council – it was a governing body decision and they decided to go for academy status.

“There were alternatives put forward to the governing body but again, they have to make the decisions and decided to go with the Greenwood Dale Trust.”

Are you a parent of a Mablethorpe Primary pupil? Do you support the change? Email sam.kinnaird@jpress.co.uk.