Following a peaceful protest outside the school gates ahead of the Governors’ meeting on Wednesday 11th July the Governors went ahead and voted on Academy conversion without balloting parents first. Over 200 parents had signed a petition calling for an advisory ballot.
Although there was not an overwhelming vote in favour, the vote was carried for the school to convert and Mr Roll the current Headteacher will be the Principal of the Academy from 1st September 2012.
Parents were officially informed by letter on Thursday of the conversion but no further information has been released, including who the Trustees will be or the members of the Governing Body.
Parents will be looking for assurance that their elected County Councillor will continue on the Governing Body to work with the school. As a member of the local Council and a representative of the community of Rubery this would seem an obvious solution as well as being the school’s link to the community and also the Local Authority, which it states it will continue to work with.
Although the school will no longer be accountable to the Local Authority, it will be accountable to parents and we intend to hold the Governors and Trustees to account to ensure they behave in a transparent and fair way in the interests of Waseley students. We have demonstrated this is possible and parents should feel proud of this.
Karen Shorrock, parent
CLICK ABOVE ON THE IMAGE OF THE LETTER TO READ WHAT IT SAYS
At the Parents Consultation Meeting last Tuesday (3 July), parents presented the Chair of Governors, Eric Hogg, with a petition signed by around 200 parents and other stakeholders, calling for the School to organise a ballot for all parents before signing up for academy conversion.
On Thursday, the School sent a letter by post to all parents, signed by the Chair of Governors, in a futile attempt to discredit this petition. This waste of School money (several hundred pounds!) is particularly galling because the Chair of Governors has, in the past, cited “the cost of postage” as a reason for not sending important information to parents by post. Clutching at straws, the letter claims that parents may have signed the petition believing that they were protesting against plans to close the School. What nonsense, and what an insult to parents!
Despite the inept chairing by Eric Hogg of Tuesday’s consultation meeting, all the hundred or so people present were absolutely clear what the issue was. In the words of the petition:
“… the School should not sign up for academy conversion until meaningful consultation has taken place and a majority of parents have indicated, through a ballot, that that is their wish.”
All the more reason for us to turn out this Wednesday to show the Governors that we meant what we said in the petition. Parents and other supporters will be meeting at the Waseley School gates this Wednesday 11th July at 5.30pm to lobby Governors as they go into the School for their final vote on academy conversion. This may be our last opportunity to influence the decision. Hope to see you there!
Parents will meet at the school gates at 5.30 pm on Wednesday 11 July to lobby governors as they go into the school for the meeting at which they will make their final decision on academy conversion. So it is a last opportunity for parents to express their views.
Please come along and ask other parents to come too.
A fantastic turnout by parents and other stakeholders at Tuesday’s meeting at Waseley Hills High School. Rather a vocal meeting but parents were pleased Richard Hatcher, who had been invited by parents to speak at the meeting on his knowledge of Academies, was eventually allowed to speak following insistence by parents, albeit for only 5 minutes! We were also able to hear the views of the Headteacher of Waseley and a Headteacher from a newly converted Academy on how his school was progressing albeit they had only been an Academy for a very short time, but information which had been requested by parents. The meeting covered off points which have previously never been discussed with parents and provided a better oversight of what Academy would mean for everyone at Waseley.
The Chair of Governors appeared to struggle to control the meeting and on a number of occasions there were raised voices between him and parents who expressed their concerns which in turn led to a call to order from other parents.
Councillor McDonald informed parents he had informed the Governing Body, of which he is a member, of concerns expressed to him by parents and members of the community, and had requested that Governors hold a ballot of all parents to be fully aware of their opinion before any conversion.
A petition containing 200 signatures was handed to the Chair at the beginning of the meeting calling for a balanced meeting followed by an Advisory Ballot of all parents, I think it was pretty clear towards the end of the meeting that an Advisory Ballot for parents was looking unlikely to happen, the reasoning behind this was based on the guidance laid down by the DFE, and the Governors inability to understand Parents would like their opinions heard and noted before any commitment by the Governors is made. The petition is still running and we are hopeful that with more signatures we may be able to change that decision.
Hard to establish the overall outcome of the meeting as many parents walked out in disgust at yet another vocal display from the Chair of Governors. To sum up I would say parents have perhaps established a better understanding of what Academy conversion means, but also a very clear picture of the people planning on running it.
We would also like it noted that at no point have we reported negatively on the teaching and learning delivered at Waseley Hills High School. It was duly noted during the meeting that Waseley is an improving school as a result of the support is has received from the Local Authority. Teachers spoke at the meeting and stressed their primary concerns were for the students and their learning. Every parent in that room was at the meeting for exactly that reason. We all want the teaching and learning delivered by staff at Waseley Hills High School to continue and grow, parents just want to ensure that the school is positive this will be achieved if it converts to an Academy. The questions is can they give that assurance?
Any parent who still has questions can email the school or post them on the Hands Off Waseley website and we will do our best to answer them for you.
The final vote by Governors takes place next Wednesday 11th July 2012, further updates to follow.
Waseley Hills High School academy status
Waseley Hills High School academy status