Parents make stand against school bid

By Ian Dipple Thursday 26 June 2014 Updated: 27/06 15:48

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Buy photos » Kelly Blackburn, Rebecca Blake and Sharon Harvey (front centre) join other concerned parents to hand in the petition objecting to TGAR’s proposals. (s)

ALMOST 3,000 people have objected to a proposal which they claim could cause chaos in the borough's education system.

Concerned parents joined Rebecca Blake, Labour's Parliamentary candidate for Redditch to hand in the petition last Friday (June 20) as the consultation by Tudor Grange Academy Redditch (TGAR) on admitting children from the age of 11 came to an end.

The proposal has been met with fierce opposition amid claims it will destabilise the borough's middle schools, create a shortage of secondary places and lead to the creation of a two tier system by stealth.

TGAR claim it will drive up standards and governors are due to meet next week to decide whether or not to proceed with the proposal and apply for permission to implement the change from the Education Funding Agency (EFA) in time for September next year.

In a joint statement Sharon Harvey, Rebecca Hyder and Nicki Farnes, who founded the Redditch School Changes Facebook Group, said: "This proposal has wreaked havoc and uncertainty onto the successful three tier system in Redditch and we have witnessed bold community support against the changes proposed by Tudor Grange Academy Redditch.

"We hope they [the governors] will consider a solution which is in the best interests of Redditch and not in the interests of Tudor Grange Academy Trust."

Ms Blake said if there was still a desire for change then it needed to be co-ordinated by all schools working together.

"We've made it very difficult for them to carry on regardless. If they decide to go ahead with this then they will need a very good reason why they have decided to ignore the will of parents," she said.

"We've had the three tier system for over 40 years and one school is going to dictate changes to it in a matter of weeks and dictate those changes for many other schools.

"Whether they support the two or three tier systems we need schools to work together and be co-ordinated."

But Mrs Harvey insisted change was not wanted or necessary.

"Schools already work well within the existing three tier system we have got, I don't think there will be any benefit moving to two tier."

Redditch MP Karen Lumley has already indicated she has won assurances from the Department of Education TGAR's application will be blocked if it has a significant knock-on effect on other schools.

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