Parents make stand against Portsmouth Academy for Girls plan to admit boys

Portsmouth Academy for Girls
Portsmouth Academy for Girls
Admiral Lord Nelson School pupils at HMS Excellent

Portsmouth pupils learn real world application of their maths lessons

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We feel like we have been let down.

That’s the key message from parents who want their children to go to Portsmouth Academy for Girls, and who are fighting proposals to allow boys at the school.

The plan would see the school – the last all-girls in the city – go co-ed from September 2017.

Parent Simon McNab, whose daughter has wanted to go to PAFG – formerly City of Portsmouth Girls’ School – since she was in Year 4, is unhappy.

He said: ‘Given that City of Portsmouth Boys’ School is going co-ed, I made a point of asking the headteacher of the likelihood of this happening to PAFG.

‘She told me that this was not on the cards and gave me some good reasons, including the increased number of children working their way through primary education.’

The reason for planned change in the admittance policy is the drop in numbers applying to the school. Last year it was undersubscribed by 115 pupils.

It has seen a 40 per cent drop in enrolment figures in the past four years.

This year, 54 parents made PAFG their first preference with others listing the school as their second or third choice.

A report from the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, which runs the school, said: ‘The school roll has been falling for several years but shows some signs of recovery (Year 7 2014 number 103 compared to 82 for 2013).’

Parent Lisa Sherlock is also upset about the co-ed plans.

She feels let down because the co-ed plan wasn’t presented when the school became an academy and was taken over by the trust.

The school has defended its plan by saying that it wishes to provide more choice for Portsmouth’s parents.

Monowara Khanow, who has a daughter in Year 7 disagrees.

She said: ‘They are taking away an individual’s fundamental right and freedom of choice to decide if an individual wants to go to a single-sex school.’

No-one was available from the school in St Mary’s Road to comment but a statement said that its consultation process will not finish until May 1.