Colmore Schools held their public meeting on the question of academy conversion on Wednesday 21st May. It was pleasing to see the Jubilee Court building full of staff and parents, showing a real interest in the future of their schools.
The governors made a statement at the start of the evening indicating their current thinking was that the academy conversion should not proceed, but that this will need to be confirmed at a meeting of the governing body on 17th June.
Kelvin Peel from the National College for Teaching and Leadership explained the potential benefits of academy conversion, centering on the greater freedoms for school leaderships.
Sarah Barton from Birmingham Campaign for State Education argued that these greater freedoms made academy schools less accountable and were detrimental to the education system.
There followed a question and answer session which saw discussion of a number of key issues, including the potential impact on staff, parental accountability, the curriculum and financial risk.
A show of hands was held at the end of the meeting. In the end, no hands were raised in support of academy conversion. The clear feeling of the parents at this meeting was that they did not believe academy conversion was the right thing for Colmore Schools. There was also a strong feeling that after a difficult process everyone involved needed to come together to take the schools forward.
We’d like to thank Colmore Schools for holding such a well organised public meeting and for listening to parents. We await a final decision when governors meet on 17th June.