A PETITION has been started calling on the Portsmouth South MP to protect a junior school from becoming an academy.
The online petition, which urges Flick Drummond to protect Craneswater Junior School, in St Ronan’s Road, Southsea, has attracted 500 signatures since it went live.
It says: ‘Please do everything you can to make sure our local school isn’t forced into becoming an academy. Our school should be able to decide its own future.’
The petition was started after concerns were raised about the government’s decision to bring in plans that could see schools forced into becoming academies if they are not rated ‘good’, although the policy has since been dropped.
The online post goes on to say: ‘Many teachers and parents are standing against the plans, saying that they’re “a step towards privatisation”, ignore local views, and could force some schools to close. One size does not fit all.’
Craneswater was rated ‘good’ at its last Ofsted.
Headteacher David Jones said: ‘The petition raises concerns and shows the depth of feeling the public have about the issue.
‘Becoming an academy may be the right decision for some schools but not for all schools.
‘The major point is that it should be the school leaders who make the decision based on whether it will make a improvement to the education of the children at the school.’
Mrs Drummond said the government had listened to feedback on the White Paper on Education and there will be no forced academisation for schools which are ‘good’.
She added: ‘However, we have to recognise that historically Portsmouth’s schools have a mixed record, and we must make sure that poor performance is addressed.
‘It’s vital to help pupils reach their potential through improved standards and I’m sure everyone would welcome moves that achieve that.
‘In Portsmouth we have a number of good local authority-controlled schools and some excellent flourishing academies delivering excellent results for pupils.
‘We all want our children to have the highest-possible quality of education, and that is what any government reform is looking at.’
To sign the petition go to secure.38degrees.org.uk