City Girls parents fear that changes may affect pupils

Students to start job support programme with help from bank

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PARENTS have expressed concerns about how changing a city school to an academy could affect their children’s education.

The City of Portsmouth Girls School plans to convert to academy status from September, sponsored by Rochester Grammar School (RGS).

The school was put into special measures earlier this year by Ofsted. However, inspectors recently visited the school and said plans are in place for improvement.

Last night a meeting was held at the school to allow parents to find out more.

Joanne Sotheran, 42, from Buckland, said: ‘My daughter is coming to the end of Year 10. During this year she’s had a high turnover of staff which has disrupted her learning and affected her results.

‘I’m very concerned that her grades are going to be absolutely useless for what she wants to do as a career and her future education.’

Executive headteacher Denise Shepherd said: ‘What we do need to do is give a strong vision. We need good staff and students to believe in this school and stay here and commit.

‘What we can do is ensure that the teachers are given the right training to improve to make sure that they deliver the right standards.’

Kevin Browning, 51, from Fratton, added: ‘My daughter is 14 now and she’s coming up to her exam years. What I want to know is if we have any changes, how that will impact on her.

‘These are the two most important years for her. I understand that the school needs to improve but I want it to improve in the next two years. I don’t want my daughter to suffer so that others can benefit.

‘I want it to be better in time for my daughter to benefit.’

Ms Shepherd replied: ‘That’s why hanging round isn’t an option. This is to ensure we can rapidly respond to what Ofsted have said. The academy process means we can be part of a bigger organisation to increase that support.

‘We are a school working with other schools to improve the life chances for children.

‘We are getting better every day. We want to keep all that is good about the school and enhance it and get it better.’

A public consultation is open until Friday, June 21.