Formby High old boy and Labour Action Team leader calls for full

Bill Esterson


Formby Labour Action Team leader and former Formby High pupil Ben Bentley says he is "gravely concerned" his old school is ploughing ahead with becoming an academy without balloting parents and staff.

Formby High and Range High are both considering going for academy status.

Both schools last week confirmed that they would conduct a survey among parents about the plans. But they stopped short of an outright ballot.

Labour Action Team leader Ben Bentley said: "As a former pupil of Formby High School I appreciate the excellent standard of education that the school provides to local children and the community.

"I am gravely concerned at the prospect of my former school changing to academy status without full and democratic consultation of parents of pupils at the school and the schools staff. That includes a full ballot."

Labour Party members in Formby and the wider constituency recently passed a resolution slamming the Tory-Lib Dem government's education policy.

The resolution reads:  Sefton Central CLP opposes the Conservative-led Government's education bill and urges parents to demand a parental ballot for all schools considering becoming academies.

Ben said: "Sefton Central Constituency Labour Party recently passed a resolution urging parents to demand a parental ballot before any school considers going for academy status.

"As a member of Sefton Central CLP I fully support and back this resolution.

"I believe that both parents and staff should be fully consulted and balloted before any decision is made by Formby High in regard to changing its status. As the move towards becoming an academy will result in major changes it is very important that parents and staff are given the opportunity to voice any concerns they may have.

"Although academy status can bring many benefits for a school there are some real concerns as to the impact of academy status on schools.

"A major concern would be regarding future pupil selection as there is a real possibility of academies ‘cherry picking’ pupils. Also the influence of private benefactors upon the school's governing body is a concern and the influence these private sponsors may have upon school admissions and employment policy.

"That is why all of the parent and staff should be given the full facts and balloted before any final decision is made."

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