Plans in place for Portsmouth school to join with academy trust

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A SCHOOL in Portsmouth could join an academy trust in Southampton in a bid to improve standards.

The board of governors at Stamshaw Junior School in is in discussions to become an academy with Portswood Primary Academy Trust as its sponsor.

Schools which are deemed to be underperforming according to Ofsted, are encouraged to convert to academies.

Academies are publicly-funded schools not controlled directly by the local authority

Julien Kramer is the interim head of education at Portsmouth City Council. He said: ‘The school has been in difficulty for a number of years. We’ve tried everything.

‘We’ve got a strong sponsor. Portswood has a terrific reputation. We think the outcomes will be improved and we think it’s appropriate.

‘We aren’t pushing for academies or state schools – we are pushing for high quality education.

‘Stamshaw has been at the bottom of the performance pile for some time so we need to do something different.
 ‘Some staff are anxious about their future but we have been as reassuring as we can.’

Councillor Neill Young is the cabinet member for children and education at the council. He said: ‘I support any school which feels that it’s the right decision to move to an academy but it has to be done with the agreement of parents. I support academies. They offer schools that are struggling extra support when it is needed.’

But some staff are unhappy at the way it has been handled.

Amanda Martin is the NUT representative in Portsmouth. She said: ‘Members have raised their concerns about this process and the lack of paper trail and transparency which has led them to be concerned about the transfer of employer.

‘Where is the evidence that this is best for the staff?’

If it goes ahead, the school could officially complete the transfer by April 1.

Information meetings have been held at the school. There is one tonight at 6pm and the next one is on Tuesday, February 10 from 2.30pm to 3pm.

Nobody at the school would speak to The News about the potential twinning and why it was with a Southampton school.