Earlier this week I was approached by my new Labour colleague from Kings Norton Ward Valerie Seabright after she attended a meeting at Colmers Junior School. Val attended the meeting in her capacity as the Vice Chair of Governors at Colmers Infant School. The meeting was called as the Junior School has been contacted by the Department of Education recently informing the School of the Department’s intention to force them to Academy status. This is not the first instance of this happening.
The bullying tactics used by the DofE is nothing short of shameful. The DofE representatives have threatened the Board of Governors with their removal if they do not agree to proceed to Academy status. The Local Authority under the previous Tory administration stated they were against forced Academies but did NOTHING. Michael Gove has said Schools are not being forced and they will be judged on a School by School basis. If that’s the case, why have Schools already been forced into academy status?
In June of 2011 Gove altered what is known as the floor standards. This is the level Schools had to achieve to not be deemed as failing. By moving the floor standards, Gove has put more Schools into the failing school category. He has moved the goalposts for ideological purposes. Gove has made it clear he wants all Schools to be Academies or Free Schools.
It is my role as a Local Councillor, with Cllr Jess Phillips & Cllr Andy Cartwright, to support Colmers Junior School and deflect the bullying mentality of the DofE representitives, who insist on forcing through Academy status at the earliest opportunity.