MPs question plans to merge seven Birmingham schools.

It was great to see the Love Brum Schools campaign mentioned in last Friday’s Birmingham Post. There is genuine concern from local stakeholders regarding the proposed academisation of local schools. The desire to keep our schools part of the LA will continue to build over the weeks and months ahead as more parents, teachers, pupils and governors get involved.

Read the article in full below:

Parents welcome intervention by politicians as House of Commons committee finds ‘limited’ evidence that multi-academy trusts improve pupils’ results

Parents battling plans to merge seven successful city schools into a multi-academy trust have welcomed a report from MPs questioning the performance of these groups.

The parents from Moseley and Kings Heath are worried the proposed merger could backfire and set back the education of 5,500 pupils.

The seven schools looking to join forces to create the multi-academy trust are Kings Heath Primary, Park Hill Primary, Wheelers Lane Primary, Kings Heath Boys, Queensbridge School, Swanshurst School and Wheelers Lane Technology College.

Among the protesting parents rallying under the #lovebrumschools banner are Adam Zindani, guitarist with rock group Stereophonics, who has two children at schools affected.  He also used to attend Baverstock Academy, in Druids Heath, which controversially seems set to close this summer.

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Now, the House of Commons Education Select Committee has found evidence that multi-academy trusts (known as MATs) improve pupils’ results is “limited”.

The trusts are run free from local council oversight or control.

The cross-party group of MPs carried out an inquiry following an explosion of MATs with 1,121 now set up, compared to just 391 in 2011.

Its report concluded these trusts had expanded too quickly and the performance of their schools had suffered.

It also called for more to be done to ensure they could be properly held to account by Ofsted and local communities.

Committee chairman Neil Carmichael said: “We have significant concerns about the performance, accountability and expansion of multi-academy trusts.

“While some MATs are producing excellent results and making a valuable contribution to our education system, a considerable number are failing to improve and are consistently at the bottom of league tables.”

The Love Brum Schools group is calling for the schools, which are already rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, to work together under a looser coalition and avoid the risk of decline.

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They highlighted recent controversies at Birmingham’s Perry Beeches and Baverstock academies to show the pitfalls.

A group spokeswoman said: “The group is campaigning for schools to engage with stakeholders in a transparent, meaningful and balanced manner.

“This should include consideration of the pros and cons of multi-academy trusts and clear presentation of what the schools hope to achieve under an MAT that could not be achieved in other ways, such as co-operative trusts and federations.”

More than 100 parents and pupils staged a protest in Kings Heath. The schools are due to publish a consultation document by Easter.

You can read this article in its original format here.

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