Blackburn with Darwen Education boss demands academy vote for parents

Blackburn with Darwen Education boss demands academy vote for parents

Blackburn with Darwen Education boss demands academy vote for parents

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Local government reporter

EDUCATION boss Dave Harling is demanding parents get a ballot on schools becoming independent academies free from local authority control.

He is urging fellow councillors to back his call for a vote on such changes in the wake of Darwen Vale High being forced by Whitehall to seek the status.

The senior Labour politician has tabled a motion on the issue for Thursday’s Blackburn with Darwen’s full Council meeting.

He has been backed by former Tory leader of Lancashire County Council Geoff Driver, who last year had a public dispute with Education Secretary Michael Gove over schools being pressurised into the status.

Concerns have been raised by councillors, staff and parents over the forced change to Darwen Vale after the school was rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted.

The formal change will come into place later this year, with the Aldridge Foundation, which runs Darwen Academy, as preferred sponsors.

Coun Harling’s motion reads: “This council notes the recent upset over the enforced conversion of Darwen Vale School to an academy.

“It notes schools now have the power to convert to academies with a minimum of consultation.

“This council believes parents should have the final say on the status of their children’s school and on the preferred sponsor of any academy.

“It calls on any schools consulting on whether nor not to become an academy and on the preferred sponsor – whether through choice or by direction – to hold a ballot of parents.”

Borough Liberal Democrat leader and Whitehall councillor David Foster said: “We agree with the motion.”

The Department for Education was unable to provide a comment before the Lancashire Telegraph went to press.

Comments (2)

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9:31pm Tue 28 Jan 14

Pyewacket2 says...

This school has recently been extensively refurbished at substantial cost. Should it be turned into an Academy, will the Aldridge Foundation (Crapita) be meeting these costs? If not, who will ?
This school has recently been extensively refurbished at substantial cost. Should it be turned into an Academy, will the Aldridge Foundation (Crapita) be meeting these costs? If not, who will ? Pyewacket2
  • Score: -1

9:40pm Tue 28 Jan 14

Sue Lee says...

How many new schools locally have been bankrolled by the tax payer at ridiculous PFI exorbitance and then be given away?

This one, Witton, Pleckgate next, quite a few primaries.

Once that set of parents etc have moved on...who will care then?
How many new schools locally have been bankrolled by the tax payer at ridiculous PFI exorbitance and then be given away? This one, Witton, Pleckgate next, quite a few primaries. Once that set of parents etc have moved on...who will care then? Sue Lee
  • Score: 3

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