DARWEN Town Council has written to the Government to object to a school being forced into academy status.
Darwen Vale High will hold its final public consultation event on Saturday ahead of the conversion, which was enforced by the Government after the school received an ‘inadequate’ Ofsted report.
The Department for Education has pressed ahead with its plan, despite an improved set of GCSEs and a recent inspection report that said the school was making progress.
Darwen town councillors had agreed to make a representation as, collectively, they were opposed to the plans. And this week, Coun Simon Huggill announced the letter had been written in conjunction with Coun Tom Evans and handed in to the Government.
The letter said: “Darwen Town Council has resolved unanimously to object to the current course of action being promoted with respect to Darwen Vale School.
“The councillors have in-depth knowledge of the school and the community, as well as being the elected community representatives.
“Darwen people are very proud of our town, and so we view Darwen Vale with a high level of local ownership.
“Darwen Town Council is firmly of the opinion that it is not in the interests of Darwen Vale to become an academy.”
The letter goes on to refer to the choice of sponsor, which has also caused controversy, with the Government seemingly intent on selecting the Aldridge Foundation, which already runs Darwen Academy and Darwen Enterprise Studio.
It said: “We most strongly believe that the Aldridge Foundation is the wrong organisation to sponsor Darwen Vale. Darwen has a far higher ratio of faith primary schools than the national average.
“If the school is pushed into being an academy, the community would find Cidari (the diocese’s multi-academies trust) far more acceptable.
“The unanimous vote of Darwen Town Council stated its opposing the imposition of academy status on Darwen Vale and the appointment of the Aldridge Foundation as sponsor.
“We fully support the appointment of Cidari as sponsor if the academy route is imposed against the community’s wishes.”