Union’s school academies warning

NRHN 16-08-12 BE 18 Heanor gate school rth form A level results.
NRHN 16-08-12 BE 18 Heanor gate school rth form A level results.

Union bosses have issued a warning about academy schools following the shock downgrading of Heanor Gate Science College from ‘outstanding’ to ‘inadequate’.

A recent Ofsted inspection put the school into ‘special measures’, despite classing the Kirkley Drive college as outstanding before it converted into an academy in 2011.

The controversial decision for the college to become an academy - taking it outside the local authority’s control - was met with strike action by teachers in 2011.

Keith Muncey, NASUWT national executive member for Derbyshire, said: “There’s a warning here for other schools that might consider becoming an academy. The Government has pushed academies as a kind of liberation - so they can do whatever they want and as a result they will only get better.

“This Ofsted judgement dispels this as a myth. Academies are not necessarily an elixir that guarantees success.

“It’s ironic that having left the local authority this has happened. Once schools lose contact with the local authority they no longer have this support.

“NASUWT believes in state-funded and locally accountable education; the children of Derbyshire are best served by a democratically elected local authority that will both support school improvement and hold the schools to account.”

A meeting to let parents know how the school will work towards being removed from special measures will be held on Wednesday, November 13, at 6pm in the school hall.